The butter bean didn’t get its name for no reason. When you taste this creamy soup you would have never guessed there is no dairy in it. Pulses are wonderful because they contain both starch and protein that make you feel satisfied for longer and they’re cheap. The bacon is just a little luxury in this recipe but can easily be omitted and the soup suddenly becomes suitable for vegans.
P.S. A perfect accompaniment for this soup will be brown bread rolls.
Butter Bean, Bacon & Thyme Soup
Preparation: 5 mins – Cooking: 30 mins
- 200g (7 oz) dried butter beans
- 30ml (2 tbsp) oil
- 150g (5 oz) bacon
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced, about 10g (0.5 oz)
- 1 onion, roughly chopped, about 125g (4.5 oz)
- 1 medium leek, roughly chopped, about 125g (4.5 oz)
- 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 1 bay leaf
- 15ml (1 tbsp) spring fresh thyme, chopped or 5ml (1 tsp) dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- You need to soak the beans for at least 12 hours (alternatively overnight) in plenty of cold water. Drain the beans afterwards.
- Now heat the oil (of your choice) in a medium saucepan and cook the bacon in it for 5 minutes or until lightly crispy and golden. Remove the bacon from the saucepan and put it to one side.
- Immediately add the garlic, onion and leek to the pan and fry for 2 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Next, add the stock, water, drained beans, bay leaf and thyme to the saucepan. Bring to the boil; cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender, skimming off any scum that appears on the surface.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Set aside to cool slightly, then purée using a hand blender (preferably), blender or food processor until smooth.
- Snip the bacon in bite-sized pieces and add to the soup.
- Season with salt and pepper; return to the saucepan and reheat gently until piping hot.