The reason I love soups is because they are just so versatile. Almost any ingredient can be transformed into a soup and more often that not you hit the jackpot. If not, chances are you can save your creation most of the time, by diluting it, adding salt or cream, you get the idea. Haricot beans and parmesan cheese seem like an unlikely combo but the results are astounding. The parmesan’s exquisite flavour takes this otherwise boring old bean soup to another level. On a cold winter’s night this soul-nourishing soup will warm you up in no time.
Haricot Bean & Parmesan Soup
Preparation: 10 mins – Cooking: 1 hour
- 20g (¾ oz) butter
- 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 200g (7 oz) dried haricot beans
- 1L (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 30g (1 oz) parmesan cheese, grated
- Soak the dried haricot beans overnight. Rinse and boil them for 30 minutes or until just soft, not mushy.
- Melt the butter in the oil in a clean pot then add the garlic and onion and sweat for a few minutes. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil and cook for 25 minutes.
- Add the cheese and boil for another 5 minutes.
- Process the soup with a hand blender or blend the soup in a liquidizer and season.
- Serve, or set aside and reheat gently when ready to serve.
Buttered, crusty white bread on the side will do just nicely.
- Alternatively you can use a 400g (13 oz) can of haricot beans, drain and rinse them and skip the first step of the recipe.
- If you’re not vegetarian, you can use chicken stock instead.
- Parmesan rind can also be used in this recipe. Simply add the rind (50g/1¾ oz) with the stock and beans in the second step but make sure to omit the third step. Remove the rind before blending the soup.