Italian Bean and Vegetable Soup

A lovely, light soup that works well any time of year. I used fresh borlotti beans and cavalo nero grown on the allotment last year but you could use pretty much any bean (cannellini, flageolet, pinto) and any green leafy vegetable such as curly kale, spinach, savoy cabbage, etc.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek – cut in quarters lengthwise then finely sliced
1 medium carrot – peeled and diced
1 stick of celery – finely diced
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
Bunch of cavalo nero or spinach – finely sliced
1x400g tin of borlotti beans – drained
Vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried Oregano or a little more if using fresh
Black pepper
Parmesan cheese – grated
Chili infused olive oil, crushed dried chili or finely sliced fresh red chili

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add leek, celery, carrot and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the sliced cavalo nero or spinach and cook for a further 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Drain the beans and add with about a teaspoon of fresh or dried oregano. Add enough stock to just cover all the vegetables, bring to boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of chili infused olive oil. If chilis aren’t your thing try a little freshly grated nutmeg on top.

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