A rich and peppery soup to fill your belly and warm your bones.
We eat soup for dinner at least once a week and I’m constantly trying out new combinations of vegetables. Rapini (broccoli rabe, cime di rapa or whatever name you choose to use) is one our favourite winter veggies – bright green, loaded with goodness and with it’s peppery and slightly bitter taste, it’s no wonder it’s the central feature of so many European traditional dishes.
Preparation: about 1 hour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large celeriac (celery root) (approx. 800g or about 2lb), peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 litres (1 1/2 quarts) vegetable stock
1 bunch rapini (approx. 500g or about 1lb), chopped
1 x 400g (14oz) can cannellini (white) beans, drained
salt and pepper to taste
chilli flakes (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot and cook the onion until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the celeriac and cook until the celeriac has started to soften – about 5 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook for a further five minutes. You should stir quite frequently during this process.
Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer.
Set aside a large handful of the more tender rapini leaves, and add the rest of it, along with the white beans, to the pot. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Using a stick blender or a normal blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return to low heat and season well. Add a little more water or stock to thin the soup if desired.
5 minutes before serving, stir through the reserved tender rapini leaves.
Serve with plenty of pepper and a sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional).