Ribollita

If you're using dried cannellini or borlotti beans, first soak whichever type you're using in plenty of cold water overnight. Next day, drain the beans. Put them in a saucepan and cover them with fresh cold water. Place the saucepan on a medium to high heat, and boil the beans for 45-70 minutes until they are soft.

Meanwhile, get the soup started. Place three tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan (a large one that will hold all the soup) on a medium to high heat and add in the chopped red onions, the chopped celery, the chopped carrots, the finely chopped garlic and half the handful of chopped parsley.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are almost soft. Add in the tinned tomatoes, the sugar and the vegetable stock or the chicken stock, whichever you're using, and cook for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.

Place half of the cooked beans or the tinned beans, whichever you're using, into a food processor, along with some of the liquid from the bean cooking pot, or the tin, and whizz to a smooth mixture. Otherwise, you could use a potato masher. Make sure to keep all of the remaining bean liquid for use later.

Add the mashed beans, and the rest of the whole beans to the saucepan. Add the shredded kale and cook for 15 minutes until the kale is tender.

Add in the chunks of stale bread, the remaining chopped parsley, the remaining three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and some more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add some more bean cooking liquid or liquid from the tin, whichever you're using, to the soup if it is is too thick, but do keep in mind that it is supposed to be thick and hearty. Allow it to bubble for another minute before serving in big warm bowls, with a little extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over the top and with a generous and fine grating of Coolea or Parmesan cheese, whichever you're using, on top.