This is my version of a hearty Italian soup I ate in Milan years ago. I modified it to be gluten free by replacing the original spelt to whole oat kernels. This soup is a meal on its own and is warming, nourishing and fulfilling to the core. The quantities are for a big pan that will feed a whole party of friends/ family or will last for few days.
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 parsley roots, peeled and diced
1 small (or 1/2 large) celery root, peeled and diced
2 large winter carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 1/2 cups borlotti beans, soaked in water over night and drained
1 cup whole oat kernels, soaked in water over night and drained
2 1/2 litres boiling water
2 tbsp good quality organic bullion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
6-7 large leave of Cavolo Nero, main stem removes and chopped
In a large and heavy soup pan, heat the oil and add the diced onions. Cook on medium heat, wile stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely caramelised.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rest of the vegetables, cook and stir until they start to brown a little and caramelise, making sure not to scorch them.
Add water and bullion powder and bring to a boil.
Add the soaked beans and oats, cover the pan and let the soup cook in a gentle simmer for 2 hours.
When the beans and oats are fully cooked and the soup has a velvety creamy texture, add the Cavolo Nero, mix and cook for another 5-6 minutes. You want it cooked through but still to retain the dark green colour. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
Let the soup ‘rest’ covered for another 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a drizzle of virgin olive oil.