- 1 leek or large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 4 cups of cooked cannellini beans
- a generous bunch of Cavolo Nero, chopped (makes 4 packed cupfuls)
- Sauté leek, onion, carrots and celery in olive oil. Pieces of prosciutto are also good to add if you like.
- Add the cavolo nero to the sautéed veges, toss around, add a litre of meat stock and let it simmer. Cavolo Nero takes longer to cook than regular cabbage. Adjust the stock etc according to your volume of ingredients. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Simmer away gently for an hour, add the beans and then add three cups of cubed stale bread.
If you’ve been to Tuscany you’ll know that their traditional bread is made with no salt and is verging on being tasteless. Perfect for this soup! So please use a good quality bread. I freeze leftover bread, or make breadcrumbs, so I always have a stash on hand.
The end result is like peasant stodge. This is thick soup! Dark green from the cavolo nero, contrasting with the white beans and bread.
But the key to it all is fresh olive oil. I leave a jug of oil on the table so everyone can pour generous amounts over their own serving.
The final addition can be a sprinkling of coarsely grated parmesan to top it off. I find it’s enough perfect without the cheese.
I guess this food isn’t for the sedentary person, but after a physical day on the farm it can’t be beat.