1. Trim and wash the vegetables. Remove the outer leaves of the artichokes and cut the remaining, inner parts lengthwise into thin slices.
2. Unless you can pick your own or buy very fresh, baby artichokes, preferably the more tender varieties, it is best to use only the bottoms; otherwise leave them out of this soup; do not use tinned ones. You could substitute tender green asparagus tips.
3. Shred the spinach and the escarole into a chiffonade. Chop the onion finely and cut the bacon into small dice.
4. Traditionally this soup would be made in a flameproof earthenware cooking pot; use an enamelled cast iron casserole or a heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan.
5. Fry the onion and bacon in 2 tbsp of the oil over a low heat, stirring, for a few minutes; when they are starting to brown, pour in the wine.
6. Cook uncovered, until the wine has evaporated, add the beans and artichokes, stir briefly and then pour in 2 pints (1 1/2 litres) cold water; add 1 - 1 1/2 tsp salt and 5 black peppercorns.
7. Bring to the boil over a moderate heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add the peas and leaf vegetable chiffonade and simmer for 15-20 minutes more.