Pumpkin, butter bean & spinach soup

Ingredients:
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 750g Jap pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed, cut into 2cm-thick slices
  • 1.5L (6 cups) Real Stock Chicken
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 (about 50g) thin slices prosciutto, excess fat removed
  • 1 300g can butter beans, rinsed, drained
  • 125g English spinach, stems trimmed, washed, dried, finely shredded
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Procedure:
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the pumpkin, leek, carrot and celery, and cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften (do not allow the vegetables to brown).
  3. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil over medium-low heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the pumpkin still holds its shape.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook for 1 minute each side or until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Add the prosciutto to the frying pan and cook for 1 minute each side or until crisp and golden. Transfer to lined plate and set aside for 2 minutes or until cool. Tear prosciutto into large pieces.
  6. Add butter beans and spinach to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with the prosciutto and sage leaves. Serve immediately.

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