This thrifty Italian soup combines leftovers into a new meal. Traditionally, stale bread was added as a bulker, but can get a bit mushy – I’d rather have the texture of a crispy croûton.
My speedy pesto does away with the pestle and mortar. Think of it less as a paste, more as a pesto-esque garnish.
To make the croûtons, preheat the oven to 200˚C (Gas Mark 6). Toss the bread with oil and salt on a shallow baking tray.
Bake for 10–12 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and crisp. (These can be stored in an airtight container.)
For the ribollita, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook gently over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until starting to soften.
Add the garlic, rosemary and bay leaf to the saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, beans and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir the kale into the stew and cook gently for a further 20 minutes.
While the soup cooks, place the basil leaves on a chopping board with the pine nuts, garlic and lemon zest. Chop everything together until you have a crumbly green pile.
Place it in a bowl and stir in the oil.
When the soup is cooked, taste and tweak the seasoning to your liking. Serve with a tumble of croûtons and plenty of pesto on top.
Dirty Vegan by Matt Pritchard is published by Mitchell Beazley, £20. Photography by Jamie Orlando Smith and Chris Terry. Dirty Vegan is on BBC One Wales and available on BBC iPlayer in January 2019.
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