For the soup
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 225g carrots, finely diced
- 2 x 425g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 900ml vegetable stock
- 425g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 tbsp vegan pesto
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50g vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, grated (omit for vegans)
- Crusty French bread
- Small bunch fresh basil
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Fry the onion, garlic and celery for 5-10 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the carrots and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Blend one can of cannellini beans with 300mls/1/2 pint of vegetable stock. Stir in the pureed beans, whole beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Stir in the pesto, making sure it is evenly distributed. Season to taste.
- Serve the soup hot, sprinkled with vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese (omit for vegans) and garnished with basil, with warm, crusty French bread.
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