Came across a few recipes for this Tuscan soup recently so made my own take on it – It was beautiful and something I will definately make again soon. Great mid week meal or winter warmer! If you wanted to make a vegetarian version of this just leave out the pancetta, use vegetable stock and add more cannelini or butter beans.
Preperation and cooking time – 1 hour
2 onions – diced
3 celery stalks chopped
2 large carrots cut into chunks
4 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 courgettes cut into small chunks
5 leaves of cavolo nero – remove the stalk and chop. You could also use half a pack of Kale if you can’t find any cavolo nero.
1 can of canellini beans
1 pack of pancetta – around 200g
1 sprig of fresh rosemary ot 1tsp dried
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
The rind of parmigiano reggiano and some grated cheese to top.
3 tbsp tomato pureé
3 pints chicken stock ( I used 2 chicken “stock pots” to 3 pints of boiling water)
Stale crusty bread – buttered
Heat a little olive oil in a lage pan and fry the pancetta and garlic for 3- 4 minutes.
Chop all your vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, courgette) and add to the pan and saute gently for 5 – 10 minutes until softened then add the tomato puree and stir round until all mixed together.
Add the cavolo nero or kale, beans, cheese rind, chilli flakes, rosemary and chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for 20 -30 minutes.
Check the seasoning and add more salt and a grind of black pepper if required but be careful as the pancetta is quite salty itself. If there is not enough liquid as you are simmering just add some more as you need this to be a soup consistency rather than a stew. The stale bread to soak it all up.
Butter the crusty bread ( I used rolls) and lay in the bottom of a large bowl and spoon over the soup and leave to stand for a few minutes until the bread soaks up all the flavour. Grate a little parmigiano reggiano over the top and drizzle a little olive oil and enjoy!!