Meals and Courses

Semi-Dried Tomato and Italian Bean Soup

cook 30 mins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 400 g (13 oz) can peeled cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ready-to-eat slow-roasted tomatoes (not in oil), chopped
  • 350 g (11 1/2 oz) Tuscan bean mix or 400 g (13 oz) can mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 750 ml (1 1/4 pints) vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta
  • reduced-fat pesto or basil oil, to drizzle (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Loosely cover and cook over a medium heat for 7–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly coloured.
  • Add the cherry and slow-roasted tomatoes, beans, oregano and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer gently for 18 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavours have developed. Blend with a hand blender until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with a spoonful of ricotta and a drizzle of pesto or basil oil, if liked, and crusty French bread.
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