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Recipe provided by Hetty McKinnon

Serves 4-6

The moral of this recipe is that you should always keep cans of tomatoes and white beans in your pantry.

Because when you do, you can whip up this flavour-bursting soup with very minimal effort. My family adores tomato soup – we usually eat it with cheese toasties for dipping! This tomato soup really has deep, complex flavours – the secret is in caramelising the whole peeled tomatoes, which adds a smoky element. Any white beans will work in this recipe. You can also use freshly cooked cannellini beans if you wish. As is often the case, this soup tastes better once it has had time to sit. Make in the morning, eat at night. Or better yet, enjoy it the next day for even deeper flavours.


extra-virgin olive oil

­€€ 800g (1 large can) whole peeled tomatoes, tomatoes removed and liquid reserved

1 brown onion, diced

1 fennel bulb, finely diced, fronds reserved

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼–½ teaspoon red chilli flakes

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

500g cooked cannellini beans (about 2 drained cans)

1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock

sea salt and black pepper

+ Parmesan Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn

extra-virgin olive oil

40g (½ cup) grated parmesan

sea salt

+ Substitute

cannellini beans: butter beans, navy beans, red kidney beans

fennel: celery

omit kale chips for vegan


Preheat the oven to 140 €°C.

For the parmesan kale chips, wash and thoroughly dry the kale leaves.

Place them on a large baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle over the parmesan. Massage the oil and cheese into the leaves, then place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the leaves are crispy.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.

Place a large casserole dish or pot over a medium–high heat and add a big drizzle of olive oil. Add the tomatoes and a good pinch of sea salt and leave to cook, undisturbed, for about 4-6 minutes, until the tomatoes are caramelised and slightly charred on one side. Transfer the tomatoes and all their juices to a plate and set aside.

In the same pot, add another big drizzle of olive oil, then add the onion, diced fennel, garlic and red chilli flakes. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and starting to caramelise. Stir in the vinegar, caramelised tomatoes, reserved tomato liquid, drained beans and vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 30-40€ minutes, until the flavours have melded. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes.

Serve bowls of soup topped with the kale chips and a few fennel fronds.


This soup can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to  days.

Double the parmesan kale chips recipe and keep them for snacks. Store them in an airtight container in the pantry for – days. They are delicious!


This recipe and more delicious recipes from Hetty McKinnon can be found in: Family by Hetty McKinnon, publishing by Plum, RRP $39.99, photo credit Luisa Brimble