Chickpea, winter greens & porcini soup

Season: Autumn/Winter/Spring

Type: Soups

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 6 at home or 30 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden: onions, garlic, winter greens (silverbeet, kale, spinach, chard), rosemary

Recipe source: Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday


  • metric measuring spoons and cups
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • sieve
  • fine cloth
  • paper towel
  • 1 medium knife
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 large saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • scales
  • peeler
  • serving bowls
  • ladle


  • 30 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400 g passata or 400 g tin tomatoes
  • 400 g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 300 g winter greens
  • 5 l vegetable stock
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • parmesan or other well flavoured hard cheese

What to do

Prepare the porcini

  • Soak the porcini in about 750 ml warm water for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, reserving the soaking water (it becomes the stock).
  • Rinse the mushrooms briefly under the cold tap and pat dry with paper towel
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and set aside.
  • Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a sieve lined with a fine cloth into a bowl to use later as the stock.

Prepare the vegetables

  • Peel and chop the onion.
  • Heat the butter and olive oil in the large saucepan over medium-low heat and sweat the onion, with the lid on, for about 10 minutes.
  • Peel and chop the garlic and add to the onions and stir for a minute, then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, rosemary, mushroom soaking liquid and some pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes

Prepare the winter greens

  • While the soup is cooking wash the winter greens then shred.
  • Add the winter greens to the soup and cook until the leaves wilt.
  • Remove the rosemary and adjust seasoning if necessary.

To serve

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and use a peeler to shave a few slivers of Parmesan over the top.

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