Season:  All year

Type:  Soups

Difficulty:  Easy

Serves:  6 at home or 30 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  onions, garlic, carrots, celery, cabbages, green beans, zucchini

Recipe source: Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids


  • metric measuring spoons and cups
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • bowls – 1 small, 1 medium, 1 large
  • knives – 1 small, 1 large
  • colander
  • peeler
  • wooden spoon
  • grater
  • mezzaluna
  • 2 large saucepans
  • scales
  • serving bowls
  • wire rack


  • 200 g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 onions
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 400 g tomato passata or tinned tomatoes
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cabbage leaves, (or Tuscan cabbage or silverbeet)
  • 150 g green beans
  • 2 zucchini
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 160 g parmesan

What to do

  • Set out your equipment and ingredients.
  • Place the beans in the large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.
  • Set the colander in the sink.  Tip the borlotti beans and soaking water into the colander and rinse with cold running water.  Rinse and dry the bowl.  Place the beans in the large saucepan, saucepan, then add enough cold water to cover the beans with 8 cm of water.  Bring to the boil, cover then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour or until the beans are tender.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave the cooked beans to cool in the cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, peel and dice the onions and place in the medium bowl.  Peel and finely chop the garlic and add to the onion.  Peel and dice the carrots, then place in the bowl used to soak the beans.  Slice the celery and add to the carrots.  Put all the scraps in the compost bucket.
  • Set the colander in the sink.  Tip the borlotti beans and cooking water into the colander.
  • Heat the oil and butter in the other large saucepan over medium-high heat and when the butter foams, tip in the onion and garlic.  Stir with the wooden spoon for 2 minutes, then add the carrot and celery and stir.
  • Add the borlotti beans, tomatoes, water and bay leaf, cover with lid and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut away the central stalks from the cabbage (or silverbeet), then shred the leaves and place in the large bowl.  Trim the ends of the green beans, then chop into 2 cm pieces and add to the cabbage (or silverbeet).
  • Lift the lid and tip in the cabbage, beans and zucchini.  Give the soup a stir and replace the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Taste the soup and add salt and pepper.
  • Shave the parmesan and place in the small bowl.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into the small soup bowls and top each with a bit of parmesan.

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