Italian curly endive and bean soup
Described by Sophie Grisgson (The Vegetable Bible) as a “perfect reassuring rustic dish for those unwelcome overcast summer days when the temperature is not what you think it should be”.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stickes of celery, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbls olive oil
- 400g (14oz) shelled fresh borlotti or haricot beans or 300g (11oz) dried beans, soaked overnight
- 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 parsley stalks tied together with string)
- 2 litres (3 ½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock)
- 1 head of curly endive or frisee lettuce, well rinsed, damaged leaves removed
- Salt and pepper
- Fry the onion, celery and garlic gently in the olive oil in a large saucepan until very tender, without browning.
- Add the beans, bouquet garni and the stock
- If using dried beans add an extra 7floz water
- Bring to the boil and simmer until the beans are so tender they are beginning to collapse
- Take off the heat and discard the bouquet garni
- Liquidise enough of the beans to thicken the soup, but leave some chunky
- Bring a pan of water to the boil
- Set aside a few sprigs of endive / frisee for the garnish
- Plunge the rest of the endive / frisee into the pan, bring back to the boil then drian immediately. And then chop it roughly
- 10 minutes before serving, reheat the soup, stir in the endive / frisee, salt and pepper (to taste).
- Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes then serve, drizzling each bowlful with a trickle of olive oil and a sprig of endive / frisee
NOTES – I used frozen borlotti beans, which I cooked on a rolling boil for 10 minutes, then drained and rinsed them and cooked them as per the recipe. If doing this use about 1 ½ litres of water instead of the full 2 litres in the recipe.