florentine bean souprating:
cannelini or borlotti beans (canned or dried - remember to soak overnight, and boil twice for 5-10 minutes, washing in between if dried)
8 tbsps olive oil
5 garlic cloves
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 large ripe tomatoe, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1 ham bone
1.5 litres water
1/2 tsps beef extract
275g dark green cabbage leaves, cut into large pieces
1 sprig fresh rosemary
pinch of dried thyme
Remove ham bone and 1 large ladleful of whole, cooked beans, then purée the remaining soup in a liquidiser. Return to clean pan with reserved beans. Stir in the cabbage. Cover and simmer gently for about ten minutes, until cabbage is tender.
meanwhile, pour remaining oilve oil into small saucepan, and heat gently with rosemary, thyme and remainder of garlic. After about 10 minutes, strain the oil into the soup and heat it through for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
serve with toast and parmesan cheese.