The World's Finest


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium sized white or red onions, peeled and chopped into small dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrots, cut into small dice
  • 1 celery stick and leaves, chopped finely
  • about 4 tbsp chopped vegetables, either turnip, squash, celeriac, swede or parsnip
  • 2 large tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped, or 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered;
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock*
  • 1 can 225g haricot, borlotti or cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 green savoy cabbage leaves, or cavolo nero (Italian black cabbage), shredded
  • salt and black pepper

To serve:

  • 4 thick slices of day old ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbs chopped parsley or basil
  • 4 tbsp grated cheese, either mature cheddar, Caerphilly, Cheshire or Lancashire – or try Lord of the Hundreds or Berkswell, both hard pecorino-style sheeps’ milk cheeses, made in the UK

Warming vegetable broth served with grilled bread, herbs and cheese

Serves 4

A hot herby broth made with onions, root vegetables and leaves, ladled over grilled bread and finished with cheese. A soup similar to Italian ribollito, but made only with British ingredients and a great way to use up leftovers. This is a very flexible recipe, designed to use up what you have in store – chop and change the vegetables as you wish, but always use onions.


*To make chicken stock, put the leftover roasted carcass of a chicken into a pan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Skim away any foam that rises – this is simply fat and impurities, and it will help make a nice clear stock. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook slowly for about 1-1 ½ hours then strain, reserving the liquid and throw away the bones. It is that easy, and you have a vital ingredient for free!

  1. To make the soup first grill the bread, brushing with a little oil then grilling in a dry pan or ridged grill pan over a medium heat until crisped. Put a slice of bread into each warmed soup bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes; do not let them take on any colour or it will spoil the flavour of the soup.
  3. Add the carrots, celery and chopped vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally over a medium-low heat for another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cook for another 3 minutes then add the stock, beans and cabbage leaves and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer until the cabbage leaves are tender, taste and add salt and pepper – you will need only the smallest amount
  5. Serve the soup ladled over the grilled bread; sprinkle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil on top then scatter over the herbs and some grated cheese.


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