Settle in for a cosy night with this bowl of hearty bean and tomato soup! Full of colourful veggies and classic Italian flavours, the meal gets an extra boost with these addictive grilled cheesy pesto toasts on the side. Bring on winter!
fennel seeds(May be presentGluten)
ciabatta(ContainsGluten, SoyMay be presentEgg, Milk, Sesame, Tree Nuts)
traditional pesto(ContainsMilk, Tree Nuts)
baby spinach leaves
Finely chop the red onion and celery. Thinly slice the carrot (unpeeled) into half-moons. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Grate the Cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese (see ingredients list).
In a large pot or saucepan, heat a good drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add a drizzle more olive oil, the garlic, dried oregano (see ingredients list), a pinch of fennel seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes (if using). Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. TIP: Fennel and chilli are strong flavours, add as much or as little as you like!
Pour the cannellini beans (including the liquid!) into the pan with the veggies. TIP: Adding the bean soaking liquid helps to thicken the soup. Add the chopped tomatoes with roast garlic & onion and the water. Crumble in the vegetable stock cubes, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Simmer until slightly reduced, 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, preheat the grill to medium-high. Slice the ciabatta in half and place, cut-side up, on an oven tray. Spread with the traditional pesto and sprinkle with the grated Cheddar cheese. When the soup has 5 minutes cook time remaining, grill the ciabatta until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 3-5 minutes. TIP: Keep an eye on the toasts to make sure they don't burn.
Just before serving the soup, add the baby spinach leaves and stir until just wilted.
Divide the Tuscan veggie bean soup between bowls and top with the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with the cheesy pesto toasts.