Courgette, cannellini bean and herb soup with croutons

It is hard to judge for salt when soup is scalding hot; sitting alters flavour, so leave it to sit before tasting and adjusting salt and pepper – if indeed it needs it.

Prep 10 min
Cook/rest 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

6 tbsp olive oil
1 onion,
1 celery stick, diced
A sprig of rosemary
1 medium potato
, diced
400g courgettes
1.5 litres water

2 tins cannellini beans
2 thick slices stale bread
Dried oregano
Olive oil
, for frying

Put the olive oil, onion, celery, rosemary and a pinch of salt in a large, heavy-based pan and set over a medium flame. Cook, stirring until the onion is starting to soften and turn translucent. Add the potato and another small pinch of salt, stir, then add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile trim the courgettes, cut into four lengthways and then into quarter moons about 3mm thick. Drain and rinse the beans, then taste them to see how salty they are.

Once the soup has been simmering for 10 minutes, add the courgettes and the beans, and continue simmering for another 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Check salt and pepper, and set aside for at least an hour.

When you are ready to eat, reheat the soup. Cut the bread into 2cm squares. In a separate pan, warm a little olive oil, add the bread, sprinkle with salt and dried oregano, and fry until golden. Serve alongside the soup.