Meals and Courses

White Bean, Bacon and Cabbage Soup with Rosemary Pistou

cook 30 mins
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200 g (7 oz) thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) ham stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400 g (13 oz) can cannellini or haricot beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ small head of Savoy cabbage, shredded (about 250 g/8 oz prepared weight)
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish and cook the bacon for 2–3 minutes over a medium-high heat to brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened.
  • Add the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Add the beans and simmer for 10–12 minutes, until the vegetables are almost tender.
  • Meanwhile, using a small food processor or a pestle and mortar, grind the rosemary with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the cabbage to the soup and simmer for a further 3–5 minutes, until just tender. Season to taste, then ladle into bowls and serve hot, drizzled with a little rosemary pistou and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
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