Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup

Ben O'Donoghue

Ingredients:

Serves 8-10

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of celery, stalks and pale leaves chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of silverbeet, stems and leaves chopped and kept separate
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can borlotti or cannellini beans (preferably organic), rinsed, drained
  • 1 loaf day-old ciabatta bread, crust removed, torn into 3cm chunks
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the celery stalks and leaves, carrot, onion, silverbeet stems and parsley.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Add the silverbeet leaves, half the beans and enough boiling water to cover.
  5. Simmer for a further 30 minutes or until quite thick.
  6. Mash remaining beans with a fork, then add to the soup with the torn ciabatta, stirring until the bread soaks up the moisture. Divide the soup among bowls, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then serve topped with extra chopped parsley.

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