180g stale country-style bread
6tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 x 400g borlotti beans
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
600ml hot vegetable stock
1 medium courgette, halved lengthways and roughly sliced and roughly sliced
200g cavolo nero, tough central midribs removed and leaves shredded
Salt and white pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10minutes. When cool enough to handle, tear it into bite sized chunks.
Heat the oil in large, heavy based saucepan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, carrots, and celery and fry gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, using a blender or food processor, puree one of the tins of beans with their liquid until smooth.
Rinse and drain the second tin of beans. Make a bouquet garni, add the courgette and cavolo nero and season with salt and pepper. Cover again and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
To serve, place a few chunks of the bread on the bottom of each warmed bowl and ladle soup over the top.