Substantial enough for a main meal, this hearty farmhouse soup is marvelously adaptable and filled with beautiful nourishment from beans and root vegetables. Just add bread and a salad and supper’s ready!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 turnip, rutabaga, or golden beet, peeled and diced
1 small bunch winter greens such as kale, collards, chard, or cabbage, shredded
1 small can chopped tomatoes, or a dollop of tomato paste or sauce
1 cup well-cooked beans, such as chickpeas, kidney, or cannellini
1 quart vegetable stock, more if needed
Herbs to taste
Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
Splash red wine vinegar or pickle brine if the soup needs more acidity
Grating of Parmesan or sprinkle of herbs for garnish
1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add leek and saute for a few minutes, then add carrot, celery, root vegetable, and greens in turn, sauteing each for a minute or two before adding the next.
3. Add tomatoes (or paste or sauce) and saute until warmed through.
4. Add beans or chickpeas, then add broth and herbs. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until everything is tender.
5. Add salt and pepper, then taste, adding salt, vinegar or pickle brine for acidity, or herbs if needed. Add additional broth if the soup is too thick.
6. Serve hot with a grating of cheese or a sprinkling of herbs, or a drizzle of olive oil and a grating of black pepper (or all of the above!)
Serves 4 to 5.