A hearty Winter soup
3 – 4 tablespoons vegetable stock
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 leek, thoroughly washed and sliced
3 sticks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2, 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 heaped teaspoons Herbes de Provence
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
2 heaped teaspoons dried tomato flakes (optional)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 cups best quality vegetable stock
3 cups lacinato or curly kale, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
Zest and juice of a lemon
Heat 3-4 tablespoons vegetable stock in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until translucent.
Add the carrots, leeks, celery and garlic. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the butternut squash and cannellini beans. Stir well.
Add the black pepper, Herbes de Provence, oregano, red pepper flakes, tomato flakes and fresh parsley. Stir well.
Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Allow the soup to simmer away until the veggies are tender. About 20 minutes.
Remove about 1 cup of the soup to a blender and blitz, return to the pot, stir well, this will thicken the soup a little and give it the “creamy” texture.
Add the kale to the pot, it will cook quickly in the heat of the soup.
Sprinkle over the lemon zest and the pour in the lemon juice, stir well.
To serve add more lemon zest, salt, pepper, dried oregano, tomato flakes, red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.