Kale with beans and sprout tops with stilton: how to use up leftover veg in a hearty soup
There is a white china bowl in the fridge, its contents hidden under a plate. With luck it will be buried treasure: the remains of a casserole; steamed potatoes and greens ready for bubble and squeak; a squirrelled-away apple crumble. It is a sad day when the contents turn out to be some of yesterday’s pasta.
With luck, my dear old bowl will be full of soup whose character will have mellowed for having spent a night in the fridge. Such recipes are the backbone of my eating in January and February. The best of them begin with an onion, a rib of celery and a few bay leaves and will be started on a low heat, so the onions soften without much colour. I try to catch the onions just as they turn from white to gold, when you can crush them, effortlessly, against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon. You can add cooked haricots at this point, or chickpeas or butter beans; borlotti and black-eyed beans, too, the sort whose water turns dark pink-brown as they simmer. Before you know it, you have dinner.