RECIPE: Tuscan bean soup [v]

This is a really simple, rustic one pot dish with loads of veg. Cook up a big vat of it and it’ll be your lunch for a week. If you have unused veg that’s approaching end of life, dice it and throw it in. There aren’t really many rules to this. Croutons work too if you have some stale bread that needs using up.

Makes lots
Olive oil
Onion 1 good sized
Carrots 2 medium
Celery 2 ribs
Bay leaves 2-3
Garlic 6-8 cubes
Cannellini beans 2 tins
Borlotti beans 2 tins
Chicken stock 1 litre or 2 cubes and a couple of pint glasses of water
Passata 500g
Black olives about half a 340g jar
New potatoes 2 handfuls
Cavolo nero or kale, 2-3 handfuls
Parsley 1 handful plus more for garnish
for serving

Roughly dice the onion, celery and carrots start sweating them down in the largest pan you have with a generous slug of olive oil, a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Chop the garlic and add.

If you wish, quarter the potatoes and put them on to boil in a separate pan. I like to do this so the beans don’t overcook in the soup whilst you wait for the potatoes to cook but this is really an optional step. (Otherwise just cook the soup until the potatoes are soft).

Drain and rinse the content of the 4 tins of beans and add to your vegetable soffrito. Add the chicken stock and passata.

Throw in the potatoes when done. Roughly chop the olives and parsley and add, along with the cavolo nero. Bring to the boil for a couple of minutes then serve immediately with lots of black pepper, chopped parsley and grated parmesan on top.

If you like showing off you can call it zuppa di fagiole Toscana.