Cabbage & Cannellini Bean Soup


3 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

150g smoked streaky bacon, cut into cubes

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, approx. 160g, finely diced

4-6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped

2 x 400g tins cannellini beans, drained weight approx. 500g

3 1/2 pints stock, chicken or vegetable

250g Savoy cabbage leaves, trimmed and roughly sliced

Rapeseed oil & freshly grated parmesan for serving

Serves 6


Heat the oil in a heavy based pot and add the bacon. Fry until golden and the fat has melted away. Add the onion and carrots and stir. Lower the heat and sauté for a minute or two before adding the rosemary and crushed garlic. Stir and leave to sauté until the onions are soft. Pour in the stock and add the drained beans. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and leave the soup to simmer for twenty minutes.

Taste the soup for seasoning, add salt and freshly ground black pepper as necessary. Usually I find the bacon has provided enough salt. Use a potato masher to crush half of the soup mixture so that the beans become creamy and some remain whole.

Add the cabbage, stir well and return to the boil. Leave to simmer for 5-8 minutes until the cabbage is just done. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, top with a generous grating of parmesan and a drizzle of oil.