This soup relies on a great chicken stock for depth of flavour. If you have the heel of a wedge of parmesan languishing in your fridge, add it with the stock for extra flavour. Just be sure to remove it before serving.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 Spanish onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
- 200 gm canned cherry tomatoes
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 100 gm dried pasta, such as gigli or macaroni
- 80 gm cavolo nero (about ½ bunch), coarsely chopped
- 400 gm canned borlotti beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 tbsp aged red wine vinegar, or to taste
- To serve: finely grated parmesan
- 60 gm softened butter
- 30 gm finely grated parmesan
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tsp thyme
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 1Stir oil, onion, garlic and chilli in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until tender (4-5 minutes). Add stock, tomato and thyme, bring to the boil and cook until well flavoured (6-8 minutes). Add pasta and cavolo nero, stir frequently until pasta is al dente (6-8 minutes), stir through beans and warm through (1 minute). Discard thyme stalks, add vinegar, season to taste and keep warm.
- 2For parmesan toast, combine ingredients (except bread) in a bowl, season to taste. Heat a grill to high heat. Toast bread, turn, spread with parmesan butter, grill until golden. Serve hot with bean, cavolo nero and pasta soup, drizzled with oil and scattered with parmesan.
This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of .