I could eat this Italian-inspired soup again and again. Nourishing, delicious, full of lovely seasonal veg, and comforting in cold weather. The chicken can be left out and more cannellini beans added to make a hearty vegetarian or vegan soup.
Serves 2, prep time 60 mins (including making sourdough croutons if desired)
5-6 large potatoes (organic if possible – potatoes can be heavily sprayed with pesticides)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
½ large white onion
1 large leek
Good handful cavalo nero
Few cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tin cannellini beans (use 2 tins if making vegetarian version)
A few good handfuls of shredded or sliced roasted free range chicken
Optional extra: Pre-made sourdough croutons – simply cube the end of a stale loaf of sourdough and bake in the oven for about 20 mins with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt
-Bring a pot of salty water to the boil while roughly chopping the potatoes into small chunks. Cook the potato pieces until soft. Keep the water.
-Finely slice the white onion, leek and cavalo nero and sautee in olive oil, adding salt and pepper to season and a few sprigs of thyme. When the onion and leek are soft and slightly golden, add the garlic.
-Add the cooked potato, leeks, onion, cavalo nero and garlic to a blender, along with either some of the potato water OR a cup of chicken bone broth, and half a tin of cannellini beans. Blend until smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding a little more water or broth if a thinner soup is desired, or by reducing to make it thicker.
-Transfer to a large pot and add the remaining cannellini beans. Leave to simmer for about 30 mins. Add a few more sprigs of fresh thyme and the shredded chicken toward the end, and season to taste.
-Serve in bowls and scatter the sourdough croutons for some crunch, or use a few sprigs of thyme for a gluten-free garnish.