Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 x 400 g (13 oz) cans butter beans, drained
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
900 ml (1½ pints) vegetable stock
1 tablespoon chopped thyme or rosemary, plus extra leaves to garnish
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese shavings, to serve
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry for 3 minutes or until softened.
Add the celery and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.
Read also: THAI-STYLE CHICKEN SOUP
Add the butter beans, sun-dried tomato paste, stock, rosemary or thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with the Parmesan and extra thyme or rosemary leaves. This soup makes a light main course served with bread and plenty of Parmesan.
For spiced carrot & lentil soup, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan, add 1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 375 g (12 oz) chopped carrots and fry for 10 minutes. Add a 400 g (13 oz) can lentils, drained, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 tablespoon chopped thyme and fry for 1 minute. Stir in 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock, a 400 g (13 oz) can chopped tomatoes and 2 teaspoons lemon juice and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Put in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, then return to the pan and warm through.