There are as many varieties of Minestrone (literally "BIG SOUP") as there are people who cook it. My version is is created with speedy preparation in mind and avoids using pasta substituting Pearl Barley as the thickener, though wholemeal pasta can be used if you prefer. Also avoided are the use of chicken stock or stock cubes instead adding salt and lots of ground pepper directly. You can easily add/remove vegetables and pulses as availability and taste dictate.
Ingredients 4 large carrots 1 large onion 2 medium leeks 4 sticks celery 2x 400g tinned tomatoes 1x 400g tinned mixed beans 120g dried pearl barley 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (or any salt) 1 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 teaspoon ground black pepper Any fresh vegetables you like (e.g. runner beans)