Rich tomato broth with chard, borlotti beans and parsley pistou

Rich tomato broth with chard, borlotti beans and parsley pistou

By
From
Good Better Green

This is a good example of a recipe that can be altered to suit your mood, available time and audience. It seems complicated, but really doesn’t take much time at all. You could blend the broth and the rest of the cooked vegetables for a thick and hearty vegetable soup, particularly good with some sour cream stirred through. The parsley pistou provides an essential hit of freshness and flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity * parsley pistou [rid:33000]

For the broth

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 small carrot, scrubbed clean and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried marjoram or oregano
1kg ripe tomatoes, fibrous core removed and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons tomato puree
large pinch unrefined brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1.25 litres hot vegetable stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the soup

Quantity Ingredient
350g fennel, trimmed
250g potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
150g carrot, scrubbed clean and cut into small dice
200g chard, stalks diced and leaves finely shredded
200-250g courgettes, cut into small dice
110g baby or freshly picked broad beans, or peas
280g cooked borlotti beans

Method

  1. For the broth, gently heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, celery and carrot with a large pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and dried herbs and cook for another minute or two before adding the rest of the broth ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the soup, use a vegetable swivel peeler to remove the outer layer of the fennel bulb. Separate the bulb into layers and chop each layer into small dice.
  3. When the broth is ready, allow to cool slightly before straining through a sieve. Use the back of a large metal or wooden spoon to press the vegetables down in the sieve and squeeze out every last bit of liquid, which will help to give the broth some body. Discard the pulp.
  4. Return the broth to the pan, season with salt and pepper, then add the diced potatoes and carrot. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are very close to tender.
  5. Add the fennel, chard stalks and courgette, cover and simmer for another few minutes, or until the chard stalks are tender. Stir in the shredded chard leaves and simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes, before adding the broad beans or peas, with the cooked borlotti beans. Remove from the heat once the peas and borlotti beans are heated through. Do not leave on the heat for too long at this stage, or the greens and peas lose their lovely bright green colour.
  6. Serve immediately with a large dollop of Parsley Pistou and some sourdough toast.
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