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Taking it easy

PUBLISHED: 11:56 29 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:56 29 December 2015




Need some digestive relief after the Christmas blow-out? Brassicas can be an interesting and zingy way to liven up New Year palates, suggests Stephen David, chef-director of Bespoke Events

Stephen DavidStephen David


(serves 4 - 6)

Feel free to swap some of the stock for a glass of white or red Italian wine and/or the tomato juices if you like a richer minestrone plus adjust the stock quantity to suit how thick or thin you like your soup. I prefer mine quite dry, almost stew-like and forego the cheese. You can make a creamier alternative, by liquidising half of the soup carefully and combining again before reheating and serving.


300g good sausages, Italian-style work well

Local good rapeseed oil

100g pancetta bacon, diced small

1 carrot, 1 red onion, 1 leek, 1 celery stick, peeled and diced small

2 tins of white beans, eg haricot or cannellini, drained and rinsed

1 litre good chicken stock

2 large handfuls of shredded kale or dark cabbage leaves

1 tin of whole Italian plum tomatoes, drained and in large pieces

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil or parsley leaves

Parmesan shavings (optional)


Skin the sausages and roll into thumbnail-sized meatballs and fry with rapeseed oil In a large deep sauté pan over a high heat until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate and put the pan and oil back on heat, before frying the pancetta, then similarly drain and remove once lightly browned.

In the same hot pan, adding more oil if needed, fry the diced vegetables until lightly browned. Add in the beans and tomatoes, before pouring in the hot stock. Bring to a simmer until vegetables are tender.

Adjust the seasoning and add the kale or cabbage. Simmer until just al dente. Serve with a garnish of shredded herb leaves, a swirl of oil and parmesan shavings,

if desired.


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