Recalibration Supper

The veg in this bowl can be changed to suit whatever you have in the fridge or cupboard at the time, so long as the quantities of each remain roughly the same. You can swap the carrots for potato, parsnip, squash or any other sturdy root vegetable; the greens for finely shredded cabbage or leafy greens, any beans, any grains; and the onions and leeks are interchangeable. It’s more of a formula for a bowl of balanced goodness than a prescriptive recipe. I make a version of this depending on whatever I have to hand, always slightly different but comfortingly familiar, and packed with vitamins and gentle nutrition. It’s my pick-me-up after any period of illness or exhaustion, and it’s popular with the whole family. I call it our ‘recalibration supper’, but it’s good for any time of day. It can be eaten cold over pasta with cheese on top, but it’s best served hot and by the largest bowl you can find.

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  • 2 large onions, or 240 g frozen sliced onions
  • 6 fat cloves of garlic, or 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 large leek, or 140 g frozen sliced leeks
  • 1 large carrot, or 1 x 300 g tin sliced or baby carrots
  • oil, for frying
  • 1 x 400 g tin of borlotti beans
  • 400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp wine or cider vinegar
  • 200 g kale, spinach or other dark leafy greens, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste


First peel and finely slice your onions or measure out the frozen onions. Add the onion – in whatever guise – to a large nonstick pan. Peel your garlic and halve it lengthways, then add to the pan, or add the paste. Thinly slice your leek and carrot and add those too, or chuck in the ready sliced veg. Drizzle over a little oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5–6 minutes to start to soften.

Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans and tip into the pan. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then stir in the tomatoes and vinegar. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until thick and glossy. Toss in the greens and wilt for 30 seconds (spinach) to a few minutes (kale and spring greens).

Serve warm with bread and butter, torn up and dunked.

Keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost completely and reheat through before serving.