Seasonal recipe: Winter white bean broth

Seasonal recipe: Winter white bean broth

This protein-packed, warming soup is perfect for a dark evening

I think that during the colder months there’s nothing better than a hearty bowl of warming soup – and even better when it’s this simple and mess-free to make! Creamy cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) add protein and bulk, and the broth is warm and fragrant with herbs – it’s a real crowd pleaser and takes hardly any time. You can set this all to bubble away on the stove whilst you’re doing other things – and if you make a large batch (for example, doubling the ingredients) it’ll see you through work lunches or freeze for enjoying later.

You will need:

  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

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  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 2 x 450g tinned cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1.4 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional but delicious!)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
  • Slug of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crusty bread loaf

Serves 6

Let’s get started!

  1. Heat up the olive oil over a low heat in a large pot and add the chopped leeks, stirring gently for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften and become translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and stir for a further minute before adding the diced celery and carrot. Stir frequently for 5-6 minutes, adding a little water to prevent sticking if necessary.
  3. Add the bay leaves and thyme, stir and cover to infuse for 2-3 minutes. Pour over the stock, stir through, then cover again and leave on a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Tip in the beans and add the nutritional yeast if you’re using it – it thickens the broth and adds a really rich, almost cheesy flavour. Leave to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Just before serving, stir through the chopped parsley. Ladle into warmed bowls, making sure there’s plenty of broth as well as veg. Serve with a crusty loaf, and a some crumbly mature cheese if you’re feeling indulgent!

… And that’s it! A delicious, hearty meal that’s ready in one pot, in half an hour. This soup is even more delicious after being chilled for a few days as the flavours infuse and develop, so don’t be afraid to go big with your batch!