Soup of Fresh Borlotti Beans and Summer Vegetables

posted: 06/30/10

Take Home Chef, Episode 75: Debra's Menu


  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, crusts removed
  • 4 tablespoons/60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon/less than 5 g coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (about) vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups/250 g shelled fresh borlotti beans or canned borlotti beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery heart (the leafy inner ribs of the celery stalk), diced
  • 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), diced
  • 4 escarole leaves or Napa cabbage leaves, sliced into 1/2 -inch-/1.3-cm-wide ribbons
  • 1 tablespoon/less than 5 g coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon/less than 5 g coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves



  1. Preheat the oven to 350?F/180?C. Tear the ciabatta bread into bite-size pieces and place the ciabatta pieces on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon/15 ml of olive oil and toss to coat with the oil. Sprinkle with the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Toast the ciabatta pieces for about 15 minutes or until they are nice and crisp. Remove the ciabatta croutons from the oven and cool.


  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a medium pot over a medium to high heat. Add the fresh borlotti beans and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are al dente. If using canned borlotti beans, skip this step since the beans are already tender.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons/30 ml of olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saut? for 10 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the carrots, celery and leek and saut? for 2 minutes. Add the borlotti beans and stock to the vegetables and bring the stock back to a boil.
  3. Add the escarole, basil and oregano. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes or until the escarole and carrots are tender and the flavors are well blended. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle the soup into 4 serving bowls. Scatter the ciabatta croutons over the soup. Drizzle the soup with the remaining 1 tablespoon/15 ml of olive oil and serve.
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