Tomato, Borlotti Bean & Tuscan Kale Soup

PREP TIME: 15mins


A versatile soup that feels light enough to enjoy in summer and hearty enough to warm you in the cold winter months.

I am enjoying the abundance of the summer vegetables with this soup and I love the delicate taste of aniseed from the fennel and fennel seeds.

TIP: Remember to never throw away your parmesan rinds as they add such a wonderful subtle flavour to stocks and soups. I have a jar of rinds in my freezer ready to pop into a simmer soup (just remember to remove before serving!).

You can replace any vegetables you have handy in addition to the holy trilogy of carrots, onions and celery. Tuscan kale goes by many names, Italian, palm and black kale, feel free to substitute with what you have at home.

Serves 4-6

Serving Suggestion:

Serve the soup with a thickly buttered slice (or two) of toast on the side. I think a drizzle of homemade chilli oil will also be amazing.


  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • pinch chilli (opt)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 large celery sticks, diced
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1,4 litres hot vegetable stock
  • parmesan rind (opt)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 handfuls Tuscan kale
  • 1 x tin borlotti beans
  • handful parsley, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the fennel seeds and a pinch of chilli and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onions, fennel and 1 teaspoon of salt, stir to coat the vegetables in the olive oil, gently cook, covered until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes. It’s important not to rush this part. The longer the cooking of the vegetables which will form the base for your soup, ultimately the better the soup.
  3. Add the garlic and the tomato paste and another teaspoon of salt. Add the tomatoes and the stock, bring to a gentle simmer. Add the bay leaves and the parmesan rind and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Season to taste.
  4. Add the kale and the barlotti beans, cook gently for another 3 minutes, remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves and the parmesan rind. Sprinkle with parsley and a good grind of pepper.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the soup, followed by the parmesan.
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