- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3–4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup (200 g) dried cannellini or borlotti beans, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 can roma tomatoes in juice, about 400 g
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⅓ cups (200 g) finely diced carrots
- 1 cup (150 g) finely diced swede
- 1 cup (150 g) finely diced celeriac
- 1⅔ cups (250 g) finely diced pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 allspice berries, finely crushed
- 1⅓ cups (200 g) finely diced potatoes
- 1¼ cups (155 g) chopped green beans
- 100 g small pasta shapes, such as farfallini (bows) or conchigliette (shells), or broken–up spaghetti
- 2½ cups (125 g) chopped English spinach
- ⅓ cup (20 g) shredded fresh basil
- ½ cup (50 g) freshly grated parmesan to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the cannellini or borlotti beans and pour in 2 litres water.
- Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice, breaking them up with a fork, then add the tomato paste, carrots, swede, celeriac and pumpkin.
- Stir in the thyme, bay leaf and crushed allspice.
- Bring back to simmering point, then cover the pan again and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes and green beans.
- Continue simmering, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta and cook, still covered, for a further 10 minutes or until the cannellini or borlotti beans are tender and the pasta is cooked.
- Add the spinach and basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Simmer uncovered for 2–3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls and serve at once, with the parmesan to sprinkle on top.
Preparation: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking
Cooking: about 1½ hours