- 500g dried butter bean
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 1.4l hot vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- chilli oil, for drizzling
Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…
Put all the butter beans in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water so they have room to swell up. Leave to soak overnight.
Drain the beans. Shuck off and discard the skins by pinching the beans between finger and thumb – it’s a laborious job, but worth it. Put the beans in a colander, rinse and shake off the excess water.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Tip in the carrots and celery and fry gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans, stock, bay and thyme with some pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, skimming off any scum, until the beans are soft. Cool for 10 minutes, discard the bay and thyme, then whizz the soup in a food processor until smooth. (You will probably have to do this in batches.)
Return the soup to the rinsed pan and bring to the boil. Check for seasoning, then serve with a drizzle of chilli oil and a sprinkling of thyme leaves.
Getting aheadFreeze the soup at the end of step 3 for up to 2 months, or make up to a day ahead and chill until needed.