Prep: 20mins Cooking: ~45mins
1 T extra virgin olive oil
4 C water, Vegetable stock OR my preference [2 C chicken stock with 2 C water for a very light soup, or pure chicken stock for a heartier version]
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
[instead of above onion and garlic, I use 1/2tsp chilli flakes and 1tsp fennel seed]
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
250g waxy potatoes, cut into small 1cm (1/2inch) cubes
2 small carrots, cut into 1cm pieces
[I often add a fennel bulb that has been cut into 1cm (1/2inch) dice and/or celery for extra flavour]
3 large Roma tomatoes, cut into 1cm pieces (the original recipe says to peel and seed them, but I cannot be bothered)
[in winter I use good quality organic tinned tomatoes with juice instead of the tasteless winter tomatoes, this makes a heartier soup for colder weather]
1/2C fresh corn kernels
1C shelled or frozen peas
250g stringless green beans, topped and cut into 3cm pieces
2 heaped T shredded basil
Crusty bread to serve
1. Combine oil and onion in a large pan and cook over moderate heat until soft, for about 5mins, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and cook for a further 1min.
2. Add potatoes, carrots and fennel, if using, also salt and chilli flakes and fennel seed if using, and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
3. Add tomatoes, cannellini beans, corn, peas and green beans and cook a further 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Immediately before serving scatter with basil and drizzle with olive oil.