Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Borlotti Bean and Savoy Cabbage Soup

The January 2012 edition of County Living landed on the doormat the other day and I was pleased to see lots of good veggie recipes this month.

One of them was a Borlotti Bean and Savoy Cabbage soup, which originally called for bacon, but was easily adaptable into a vegetarian/vegan soup and sadly didn’t last long enough to take any photos, plus the chooks loved it as a little cold weather treat!

You will need for, 6 good servings:

Chilli oil, a good dollop, enough to coat all the vegetables nicely
2 carrots, finely sliced
2 stick celery, finely sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2-3 good sized (medium at least if it’s three) potatoes
½ a medium sized savoy cabbage, finely sliced
2 stalks of fresh rosemary
1200ml vegetable stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin borlotti beans, drained
Ground black pepper
1 tbsp pesto per serving (shop bought or I made my own, see below)
Parmesan rind and flakes (for the vegetarian option)

I started off by sweating the carrots, celery, garlic, onion and rosemary in the chilli oil until softened, approx. 10-15 mins.  You don’t have to use chilli oil, but I wanted to have an alternative to the tanginess that the bacon would have offered the original dish, and to give extra warmth to the final taste.

I then added the potatoes, tossed them with the other vegetables for a couple of minutes and then added the stock and tinned tomatoes.  At this point you could also add the parmesan rind.

This was left to simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until all the vegetables were cooked.  I stirred it occasionally and after, the 25 minute mark, would taste to potatoes, I like them cooked but with a little bite.

Whilst this was cooking I blitzed 2-3tbsps olive oil, a large bunch of basil, approx. 50gms pine nuts and some lemon juice (only a tsp or so, to taste) in my blender to make the pesto.  For a vegetarian version, you can add 30-40gms of parmesan to this.

Finally, I added the cabbage and beans and cooked for another 5-10 minutes and then seasoned with ground black pepper. 

The soup was served with a tbsp of pesto on top and crusty bread with soy margarine.  You could also add parmesan flakes for the vegetarian version.  Delicious!

Next time, I will add peas at the same time as the cabbage and beans, or shortly thereafter, for that lovely bright green sunniness.  I am also contemplating mixing sweet potato in with the others, for a thicker and slightly sweeter soup.  Next time…
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