Cavolo nero and borlotti bean minestrone

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 handful fresh herbs (thyme, bay and/or rosemary)
Salt and black pepper
250g cavolo nero (or savoy cabbage), stems removed, leaves roughly shredded
1/2 tin chopped plum tomatoes,
1 x 400g tins borlotti or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan, to serve

Warm the oil in a deep, heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are collapsed, soft and sweet.

Meanwhile, bring a deep pan of well-salted water to a boil and blanch the cavola Nero until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking water.

Stir the tomatoes into the softened vegetables,, and continue cooking for five to seven minutes. Add the beans and, using a stick blender, puree about half the mixin the pan to make it velvety and thick.

Add the cabbage and pour over about 750mm of its cooking water until the vegetables are just covered. Season, taste, then season again, if needed. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until you have a rich, thick soup.

Serve in warmed bowls with grated parmesan and plenty of extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle over.

Adapted from Thomasina Miers’ recipe in The Guardian

Photo: Yuki Sugiura