This recipe is from my mother-in-law Yvonne and has become one of our favourite comfort foods to make when the weather turns cool.
185 g dried cannellini beans, or 1 x 400 tin cooked cannellini beans
2 tbls olive oil
3 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 small stalks celery, diced
1 x smoked ham hock
1 x parmigiano reggiano cheese rind (optional)
250 ml tomato passata
Small handful parsley stalks
2 x litres vegetable stock
3 x zucchinis, diced
1 x handfull green beans
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 x cups cavalo nero, chopped
1 x cup savoy cabbage, chopped
Extra parmigiano reggiano, shavings
1. If using dried, soak the cannellini beans overnight in at least double volume of water. Drain.
2. The next day, cook the drained beans in 2 litres of fresh water over a low heat for about 1.5 hours. The beans should be tender but not yet broken up.
3. While the beans are cooking saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until softened. Then add the carrot and celery for about 10 – 15 minutes.
4. After a further 5 minutes add the ham hock, cheese rind, tomato passata and stock. Cover the pot and cook on a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add the cavalo nero, cabbage, zucchini, green beans, parsley stalks and the cooked cannellini beans (or the tinned beans if you are using) and simmer for another 30 minutes.
6. Remove the ham hock and take the meat off, chop it up and return to the soup. Remove the cheese rind and taste the soup for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to your liking.
7. Serve the soup with extra shavings of parmigiano reggiano.