A soup for all seasons – simply adjust the beans and vegetables accordingly. Borlotti or kidney beans make a thick hearty soup while lentils of navy beans are a little lighter. You can use canned beans but the flavour is much richer if you cook the beans yourself. This recipe is for a winter version.
Drain the beans and bring to the boil in fresh water. Simmer of 1 and a half hours with bayleaf until soft. Don't allow to dry out. Season with salt and set aside. (This step can be done earlier).
In a large saucepan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic and celery on a low heat until soft. Add the beans, stock and the remainder of the vegetables, except the greens, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Next add the pasta or grain and salt and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add the broccoli or cut kale and continue cooking until greens are done. If necessary adjust seasoning and serve garnished with parsley and freshly grated parmesan in a bowl.
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