This is one of those winter recipes I come back to every year.  It’s cheap to make and makes the most of seasonal winter vegetables such as Cavolo Nero along with store cupboard essentials such as tinned beans and tomatoes. It requires a little attention here and there but will then happily blip away on the hob.  Fantastically, it also tastes amazing the next day as the flavours develop further.

It’s also pretty child friendly for my two as long as mountains of melted cheese on toast are served alongside.


4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion sliced finely

1 leek, sliced finely

3 carrots, finely sliced

3 sticks of celery, finely sliced

4 cloves of garlic, pealed and chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 bay leaf

1 tin of plum tomatoes, drained and crushed with the back of the spoon

2 tins of cannellini beans, drained.

800ml vegetable stock

500g cavolo nero, shredded

1 parmesan rind

2 slices leftover stale sourdough bread


Gently heat the olive oil and add in the chopped onion, leek, carrots, garlic and celery along with the fennel seeds and bay leaf. Saute gently and leave to heat for twenty minutes until the vegetables have softened.

Add the drained tomatoes and crush them lightly with the back of the spoon. Rinse and drain the tinned beans and puree half of them. Add the pureed beans and whole beans to the pot along with the stock, parmesan rind and cavolo nero. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.

Add in the in stale sourdough bread whilst heating the soup for a further five minutes.



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