Great as a starter or a light meal, this soup will quickly become a winter favourite.
Peel and chop the onion and carrots.
Dice the celery stick.
Peel and crush the garlic clove.
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Fry off the onions until they turn translucent.
Next, add the carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and a pinch of salt, and sweat out for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain and rinse the tinned bean. When the vegetable are soft, add the beans to the saucepan, and cover with water.
Leave to simmer for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, and puree the soup with a stick blender.
Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Pre-heat the oven to 200'C.
Pick the leaves off the parsley stalks.
Peel 1 clove of garlic.
Place in the jug of a blender along with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blitz until smooth.
Grate the Parmesan, and set aside.
Slice the ciabatta, and lay out onto a baking tray, and toast until golden brown.
When the croutons have cooled down, rub with a peeled clove of garlic, and top with the grated cheese.
Return to oven, and toast until the Parmesan has melted and is beginning to turn golden brown.
Ladle out the soup into warmed bowls, top with a few cheesy croutons, and drizzle with the pesto.
«Do not throw out the Parmesan rinds: they can be added to the soup while it simmers for extra flavour!»