Tuscan bean soup

This Tuscan bean soup is hearty, healthy, packed with veggies, and makes a great batch cook option for busy weeks when time is at a premium. This soup is delicious served with a dollop of fresh pesto, and / or a few slices of toasted days-old sourdough. Like many stock-based dishes, its flavour will deepen and become richer overnight.

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large leek, roughly chopped
  • x1 400g tin plum tomatoes or 6 vine tomatoes, roughly chopped (reserve the vines)
  • small bunch fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 130g macaroni or other short pasta
  • 2 litres charred onion broth or vegetable stock
  • x1 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g broccolini
  • 100g curly kale
  • ½ diced courgette
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, celery and leek and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, until softened.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the rosemary and thyme bundle. Squash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Bring the pan to a simmer.
  3. Heat the stock in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the pasta to the vegetables. Once the stock is simmering, pour this in too.
  4. Pour the soup into the pressure cooker. Bring up to pressure and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, wipe down the saucepan and add a teaspoon of olive oil and bring to the heat. Fry the curly kale for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat from the pressure cooker and slowly release the pressure. Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs and tomato vines and discard. Stir in the cannellini beans, broccolini, kale and courgette and allow them to soften in the residual heat for 5 minutes.
  7. To serve, pour into soup bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and torn fresh basil leaves / accompany with a dollop of pesto. Enjoy with toasted sourdough / crusty bread.

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