Hearty Winter Vegetable & White Bean Soup

11:44 pm on 23 June 2008

Lots of warming winter vegetables go into this soup that is a perfect filling meal on a cold day. The sausage in this soup is optional but terrific and you could add any spicy sausage, or tiny chunks of salami, lamb or beef.

(Serves 6 – 8)

Ingredients 

  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into neat chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 150g pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped and stoned olives
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 small well flavoured sausages (optional)
  • 1 tin white beans
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese for grating

Method

Heat the olive oil a large heavy saucepan and add the leeks and garlic cloves. 

Cook for about ten minutes over a very low heat so that the leek softens.

Add the potato and carrot chunks with the bay leaves and toss in the oil well.

Add the stock and set to a steady simmer for about 30 minutes. At this time, add salt and pepper to taste and the pumpkin chunks and olives, simmering slowly for a further 30 minutes.

Chop the tomatoes into chunks, discarding most of the seeds. Brown the sausage separately in a little oil and cut into chunks. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Add the tomato, sausage and drained beans to the soup and cook a further 5 -10 minutes.

To serve, add the torn basil leaves and serve with fresh crusty bread and grated Parmesan cheese, handed separately.

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

Syrah

  • Matariki 2005
  • Okahu 2004

Shiraz

  • Deakin 2005

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