– 1 can white beanss (drained)
– 2 oz./50 g. unsalted butter
– 1 large onion (finely chopped)
– 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
– 1 large carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
– 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
– 2 pints/1 liter vegetable stock
– 1 can chopped tomatoes (with juice)
– Tiny pinch of dried thyme
– 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
– Sea salt and pepper
In a large saucepan or stock pot melt the butter, add the onion and cook slowly until translucent making sure you stir the mixture constantly.
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes taking care not to burn as this will ruin the soup by making it bitter and acrid. Next, add the carrots and celery and cook for a further five minutes.
To the pan add the stock, the beans, the tomatoes, the thyme, the sugar, and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook gently for 30 mins, or until the carrot and celery are tender – avoid over-stirring to prevent the beans from breaking up. After cooking, remove the bay leaf.
Place half the soup in a food processor and purée. Stir the purée back into the pan and season to taste.
To serve, ladle into warmed soup bowls and garnish with the parsley. Serve the soup in a large bowl as the main course, or a smaller portion as a starter.
What beans to use?
The best beans to use in this recipe are white beans such as haricot blanc or the larger Cannelini. However, there are others to choose from to ring the changes. Maybe a large butter bean or a tiny black bean. Many UK supermarkets sell cans of mixed beans; these add not only variety to the soup but make it very colorful too.
Using dried beans in the soup
If you have dried beans, soak them overnight in a large bowl or stockpot. Cook as directed on the bean packet and once cooked, drain. Use the beans as you would in the recipe for canned beans