Wild Rocket & Cannellini Bean Soup With Pesto

Rocket is usually thought of as a peppery leaf that can add spice to a salad, but it has so much more to offer. Cooked, rocket turns earthy, and combined with cannellini beans, potatoes and pesto, it makes this simple soup flavoursome and balanced.

Serves

4

Total Time

45 Minutes

Ingredients

2 tbsp of olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
300g of charlotte potatoes, cut into 1cm pieces
1lt of chicken or vegetable stock
600g of canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
100g of wild rocket (arugula), chopped
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Warmed focaccia, to serve
For the pesto
1 small garlic clove
¼ tsp of sea salt
80g of basil leaves
75g of pine nuts
75g of parmesan, finely grated
80ml of good olive oil

Method

Step 1

Heat a medium, heavy-based saucepan on a medium heat. Add the olive oil and, when hot, add the onion and celery and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, until softened.

Step 2

Add the potatoes and season well with salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour in the chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until you can put a knife easily through the potatoes.

Step 3

Add the cannellini beans to the soup, stir, and cook for about 10 minutes to heat through. Add the chopped rocket, stir well and turn off the heat (keep the pan on the stove so the soup remains warm while you make the pesto).

Step 4

To make the pesto, crush the garlic and salt together in a pestle and mortar to a smooth paste. Add the basil and bash until you have a paste, then add the pine nuts and crush them into the paste.

Step 5

Add the parmesan to give you a very thick pesto. Add 1 tbsp of water to loosen, then slowly add the olive oil to emulsify the sauce, mixing constantly. (Alternatively, use a blender). Check the seasoning and leave to one side.

Step 6

Serve the soup in warmed bowls with a generous spoonful of pesto on top and some warm focaccia on the side.

Recipe Courtesy Of The Italian Deli Cookbook By Theo Randall. Photography: Lizzie Mayson

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