Butter Bean and Cauliflower Soup
The weather in London has been temperamental this past week, with temperatures ranging from 10C to 25C and interspersed with thunderstorms and high levels of humidity. Luckily the temperature drops in the evening allowing us to cool down after busy days enjoying the half term break.
All four of us enjoy a big meal at the end of each day and this recipe provides for just that. A warm, comforting and filling meal that, with the addition of some wholewheat macaroni for the boys and a thick slice of sourdough bread for their parents, provides a satisfying hurray to welcome in the evening.
For this dish we decided to introduce some stronger flavours for the boys in the form of a thick and rich coriander and olive oil dressing. While the leaves are tricky for the boys to eat when raw, we don’t want them to miss out on the fresh punch that coriander lends to the dish while also making the thick soup less of a wintery one.
The soup includes a good amount of cauliflower which is nicely disguised for any cauliflower-phobes. Butterbeans have made a welcome appearance on the boys’ plates as of late and they love them, Toddler Green finds them to be the perfect finger food (despite his parents ongoing nudging the use of table utensils) drizzled in olive oil and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. It’s a straightforward dish that is easy to prepare and is a perfect one bowl meal, that more often than not, is how we consume our meals.
I usually soak the beans in the morning before heading out to work, that way once I am back home, I can just turn on the heat under the pot and attend to other, more immediately pressing chores (a cheeky gin and tonic?). At the bottom of the page is a quick soak method for the beans, which allows them to soak and cook for a shorter period of time. Alternatively, 4 cans of cooked beans could be used along with the liquid in the cans. There is roughly (and this depends on the beans you are using) 100ml of liquid in a can of beans, so you would then need to add another 2.5 litres of water to the pot.
- 500g dried butterbeans
- 400g caulifower
- 3 liters of water
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp low salt boiullon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Rinse the beans well and then soak for at least 8 hrs in water.
- Bring the beans to the boil and then simmer for one hour, or until tender.
- Chop the vegetables and add to the cooked beans along with the salt and bouillon.
- Continue to cook for a further half an hour.
- Blend the soup using an immersion blender or transfer to an upright blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Adjust seasoning and serve with your favourite pasta, rice or good, crusty sourdough bread.
- 100g corinader, tough stalks removed
- 1 cup (250ml) extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- Blend ingredients at high speed, preferably in a blender and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
Quick-soak method for beans:
- Rinse beans and place in a pot with the water. Bring beans to the boil and then remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour.
- Turn heat back on and bring the beans to a gentle simmer for 1 hour or until cooked and tender.
- Continue with recipe as above.