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Kale, Bean & Winter Roots Soup

Clodagh McKenna’s new book ‘Clodagh’s Suppers’ celebrates seasonal cooking and entertaining at home. Photography - Dora Kazmierak

SERVES 6

My gorgeous friend, florist Nikki Tibbles, has the most beautiful house in the country and I have been lucky enough to spend many weekends there, foraging, cooking and sharing suppers together.


She makes a big batch of soup every weekend with whatever seasonal vegetables she has and packs it up for her busy week back in London. This recipe is inspired by one of her soups. It feels so nourishing during the winter months when we need lots of goodness to protect ourselves from colds. Plus it’s absolutely delicious and full of colour. Make it in big batches so that you can freeze and use throughout the week.

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
3 parsnips, peeled and cubed
2 celery sticks, cubed
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped
rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
250g cavolo nero (black or
Tuscan kale), chopped
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO SERVE

50g Parmesan cheese, shaved
1 tablespoon finely chopped
rosemary leaves

Place a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over a low heat and pour in the olive oil, then add the carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, rosemary and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Stir in the hot stock and bring to the boil, then leave to cook for 10–15 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

Transfer the soup to a blender or food-processor, or use a hand blender, and blend to a smooth consistency.

Return the soup to the saucepan or casserole dish (if necessary). Stir in the cavolo nero and cannellini beans and cook for 3–4 minutes until the kale has wilted and the beans have heated through. Season to taste.

Divide the soup between warmed bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese shavings and rosemary to serve.

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