- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 head of celery, coarsely chopped, keeping the leaves
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…
- 1kg Swiss chard, leaves shredded and stalks roughly chopped
Also known as just plain chard, swiss chard has large, fleshy but tender deep green leaves and…
- a good handful of parsley, finely chopped
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 400g can peeled plum tomatoes, drained of most of their juices, roughly chopped
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
- 1kg cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves shredded (or savoy cabbage)
A loose-leafed cabbage from Tuscany, Italy. The leaves are a very dark green, almost black,…
- 410g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Slightly kidney-shaped with squarish ends, cannellini beans are from Italy and are creamy white…
- about 700ml boiling chicken or vegetable stock
Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…
- a few sprigs of winter herbs such as thyme or sage, chopped
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- freshly grated Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
- extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
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Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take about 20 minutes but it’s worth it – the slow cooking gives a lovely taste. Add the garlic, chard stalks and half the parsley, and stir to prevent sticking. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced.
Add half the Swiss chard leaves, half the cavolo nero, three-quarters of the beans, and the boiling stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in more stock if needed – don’t add too much – it should be thick.
Add the remaining Swiss chard and cavolo nero and blanch briefly so they remain green and crisp. Season when slightly cooled.
Purée the remaining cannellini beans coarsely in a blender with some of the cooking liquid. Add to the soup – it should be very green. Stir in the herbs and serve hot with Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.