Serves 6


1.5 litres vegetable stock, hot
225g cabbage, shredded
225g green beans, chopped
225g potatoes, chopped
8 sprigs of basil
4 basil leaves, for garnish
4 garlic cloves
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
150g dried haricot beans, soaked for several hours
150g dried flageolet beans, soaked for several hours

Heat the oven to 220C/400F/Gas 6

Drain the soaked beans and put them in a large casserole dish, cover with 6cm of water. Add the onions. Cover and cook in the oven for 11/2 hours. Drain. Take half the beans and onion mixture and puree. Return the beans and bean puree to the casserole dish. Add the hot vegetable stock, the carrots, cabbage, potato and green beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and put in the oven at slightly lower temperature 180/350/gas 4 and cook for 45-60 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile in a separate dish, crush the garlic and 8 basil sprigs and gradually add the olive oil. Then add the parmesan. Stir half this mixture in to the soup just before serving and then pour the soup in to bowls. Top each bowl of soup with a dessert spoonful of the garlic, basil oil and parmesan mixture. Garnish soup with basil.