By Prue Leith
Traditional Italian minestrone requires everything to be chopped very finely to make a soup that’s eaten as a starter. I’ve just adapted it to make a hearty, chunky main course.
Rinse the soaked beans and put into a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the bouquet garni. Cover with roughly twice the volume of water to beans and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are soft and tender – about 1½–2 hours. Drain and set aside the softened beans, discarding the aromatics.
Rinse out the pan, add the ol