Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 tbsp olive oil
3 medium sized white or red onions, peeled and chopped into small dice
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 carrots, cut into small dice
1 celery stick and leaves, chopped finely
about 4 tbsp chopped vegetables, either turnip, squash, celeriac, swede or parsnip
2 large tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped, or 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered;
1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken stock
1 225g (8oz) haricot, borlotti or cannellini beans, drained
2 green savoy cabbage leaves, or cavolo nero (Italian black cabbage), shredded
salt and black pepper
4 thick slices of day old ciabatta or sourdough bread
Extra virgin olive oil
4 tb chopped parsley or basil
4 tbsp grated cheese, either mature cheddar, Caerphilly, Cheshire or Lancashire
1.To make the soup first grill the bread, brushing with a little oil then grilling in a dry pan or ridged grill pan over a medium heat until crisped. Put a slice of bread into each warmed soup bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes; do not let them take on any colour or it will spoil the flavour of the soup.
3. Add the carrots, celery and chopped vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally over a medium-low heat for another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cook for another 3 minutes then add the stock, beans and cabbage leaves and bring to the boil.
4. Simmer until the cabbage leaves are tender, taste and add salt and pepper – you will need only the smallest amount
5. Serve the soup ladled over the grilled bread; sprinkle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil on top then scatter over the herbs and some grated cheese.
Recipe and image courtesy of British Onions http://www.britishonions.com/