Rachel Allen’s alphabet soup recipe

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serves: 6
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 10 min
Cooking: 45 min
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  • Use whatever fun shapes you can get hold of for this kids’ favourite – small rings, tiny shells, little bows, stars or moons. You can also use chorizo or chicken instead of bacon


    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 150g (5oz) streaky bacon thinly sliced
    • 1 onion, peeled and diced
    • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
    • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 1 litre (1.75pt) chicken or vegetable stock
    • Salt and freshly ground
    • Black pepper
    • 1tsp caster sugar
    • 100g (3Hoz) alphabet pasta or other small pasta shapes
    • 2tbsp finely shredded basil (optional)


    • Add the olive oil to a large saucepan on a high heat and fry the bacon for 3-4 mins or until crisp and golden.

    • Tip in the onion and garlic, reduce the heat and gently cook for 8-10 mins or until soft but not browned. Add the tomatoes and stock and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

    • Increase the heat a little and simmer for about 15 mins or until slightly reduced. Add the pasta shapes and continue to simmer for a further 5 mins or until the pasta is cooked.

    • Remove from the heat and stir in the basil (if using). Check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or sugar if necessary, and ladle into warm bowls.

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