Heat the oil in a large soup pot and sauté smoked pork (if using), onion, celery and carrots. When the pork and veggies have taken on some colour, add the red pepper and sauté until some of its moisture has evaporated. Do the same with the mushrooms.
Add the chopped tomatoes and beans with their brine. Cover the food completely with boiling water and add the stock cubes and tomato paste. Stir and bring to the boil.
Skim off any foam and then reduce heat. Cover and cook on very low for about 45 minutes or until the pork is tender. You may need to replenish the water a little.
When the pork is tender to your liking, add the corn kernels or peas and the elbow macaroni. Check the consistency of the soup and add more water if you like.
Mix the packet of soup with a little cold water and stir into the boiling soup and allow to cook a few minutes until thickened.
Taste and then season to your liking with salt, milled black pepper, sugar, chopped garlic and dried chilli flakes and stir in the chopped parsley.
Reprinted with permission of I Love Cooking. To see more
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