Tomato soup is one of those dishes you can’t have as a meal on its own. By the time you get up from the table you have to pee and afterwards you realise it must have been the tomato soup because you’re still damn hungry. To address this problem beans have been added to this recipe. Pulses are notorious for their ability to keep you full for longer and are great for keeping your glycaemic levels stable. My second issue with tomato soup, or tomatoes for that matter, is that it is just so acidic. A little bit of brown sugar does just nicely though. Well, what do you know? I’ve got nothing left to complain about.
Tomato, Borlotti Bean and Garlic Soup
Preparation: 15 mins, plus overnight soaking – Cooking: 1 hr
Suitable for freezing
- 125g (4 oz) dried borlotti beans
- 1.2L (2 pints) vegetable stock
- ½ garlic bulb
- 30ml (2 tsp) olive oil
- 450g (1 lb) ripe tomatoes
- brown sugar (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- basil, to garnish
- You need to soak the beans for at least 12 hours (alternatively overnight) in plenty of cold water.
- Drain and rinse the beans and place in a saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes until the beans are tender.
- Meanwhile, separate and peel the garlic cloves. Place them in a roasting tin, drizzle with the oil and bake near the top of the oven at 200°C (fan 180°C/400°F/gas 6) for 15 minutes. After that add the tomatoes to the garlic and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the garlic is lightly browned and the tomatoes are soft.
- As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and chop them roughly.
- Transfer the cooked beans and their liquid to a blender or food processor, then add he tomato and garlic mixture, salt and pepper. Purée until fairly smooth, then return to the pan. Check the seasoning and heat through for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Any type of bread on the side will do.
- Alternatively, you can use a 400g (14 oz) can borlotti beans instead of dried ones. Reduce stock to 900ml (1½ pints). Rinse the beans before puréeing them with the stock and tomato mixture.
- If you find the soup too acidic, add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to it at a time. After stirring thoroughly, taste the soup again. Repeat the process until you’re happy with the result. Be careful not to add too much sugar, because it might ruin the dish.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with other pulses instead of borlotti beans.