2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, leaves reserved, stalk cut into 1 cm pieces
2 cups (500 ml) beef bone stock or vegetable stock
1 × 440 g can diced tomatoes
1⁄2 cup Italian soup mix (split pea, bean and lentil mix)
16 cups (4 litres) hot water
1⁄4 butternut pumpkin, cut into cubes
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
200 g green beans, sliced
180 g broccoli florets
180 g cauliflower florets
100 g trimmed cavolo nero or baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon mixed Italian dried herbs or
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil and thyme
1 Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat and sauté onion, carrot and celery until onion is translucent.
2 Add stock, tomatoes, soup mix and half the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
3 Add pumpkin, potato, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cavolo nero (if using baby spinach add just before serving) and remaining hot water. Season with salt and pepper, then cook over low heat for another 1 hour. Stir through baby spinach, if using, and herbs, then serve.