- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 onion, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon
- 2 large carrots, chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 1 medium potato, chopped
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
- 1l vegetable stock (from granules or a cube)
- 2 tsp chopped sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried
Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…
- few cabbage leaves, shredded
The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white…
- 400g can haricot bean
- handful chopped parsley
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
For the pesto croutes
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and lardons or bacon and fry for about 5 mins until the onion is starting to brown. Tip in the carrots, celery, potato and garlic, stir well and cook for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stock and sage, and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and cook partly covered for 30 mins, stirring in the cabbage after 15 mins. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan with the parsley. Season and serve with pesto croûtes, see right, or crusty bread.
For the pesto croûtes: Cut 3-4 slices of crusty bread into chunks, about 2cm thick. Tip into an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and pesto, then add to the bread, tossing it with your hands until the croûtes are evenly coated. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 mins until crisp.
Make it vegetarianLeave out the bacon and use 100g/4oz sliced chestnut mushrooms instead.