A delicious soup, this is a meal in itself and is also very healthy, It’s perfect for a cold day when not much is fresh in season.
|2 tbsp||extra virgin olive oil|
|3||celery sticks, finely chopped|
|1||red onion, chopped|
|1||garlic clove, finely sliced|
|2 x 400g cans||chopped tomatoes|
|1 x 400g jar or can||borlotti beans, drained (rinse if canned)|
|Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|Fruity olive oil, to serve|
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the celery, onion, carrots and garlic and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
Tip in the tomatoes and stir, then cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Meanwhile, remove the Swiss chard leaves from the stalks. Finely chop the stalks; keep the leaves whole. Blanch the leaves in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes until tender. Remove with tongs to a colander to drain, then roughly chop and set aside.
Add the chopped stalks to the pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes until tender; drain well in the colander set over a bowl (reserve the blanching water). Set the stalks aside.
Add the borlotti beans to the tomato mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes before pouring in 400ml of the chard blanching water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the chard leaves and stalks along with the basil. Season with salt and pepper If you want a smoother soup, blitz it for 10 seconds using a hand blender – this will give you a creamy but still chunky consistency. Serve the soup hot, with a good dash of fruity olive oil added to each bowl.