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…