Butter Bean, Leek and Bacon Soup from www.cookuk.co.uk

Soak the beans overnight by covering them with cold water, or you can boil them for 10 minutes then leave them to soak for 2 hours before making the soup. Whichever way you choose do remember to drain them off before cooking.

KEY POINTS

 Preparation Time:  30 mins  Cooking Time:  1 hour 
 How Difficult  Medium  Freeze?  Yes
 Servings

4 portions


INGREDIENTS

Metric Imperial
225 g dried butter beans 8 oz dried butter beans
110 g smoked streaky bacon 4 oz smoked streaky bacon
2 tablespoons of oil 2 tablespoons of oil
1 bay leaf 1 bay leaf
25 g butter 1 oz butter
1 onion finely chopped 1 onion finely chopped
1 leek cleaned, trimmed and finely chopped 1 leek cleaned, trimmed and finely chopped
2 small stick of celery finely chopped 2 small stick of celery finely chopped
1 garlic clove 1 garlic clove
1 litre water 1 pints of water
150 ml milk 5 fl oz milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation Before Cooking
Preferably soak the beans overnight by covering them with cold water and drain them before use.

Start by cleaning and finely chopping the vegetables.

This part is rather tedious, it takes quite a while to chop the the veg, but it is worthwhile as it takes less time for the soup to cook.
 
Now, heat up one of the tablespoons of oil in a medium pan and cook the bacon for about 5 minutes till it is lightly crispy and golden brown.
 
The next step is to add the bay leaf, 1 pints (1 litre) of water to the pan along with the soaked butter beans.
 
Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 25 minutes or until the beans are tender.  Skim off any scum that appears on the surface.
 
Heat the butter and the rest of the oil in another saucepan and add the remaining chopped vegetables.  Stir well and coat everything in the butter and oil and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until they are soft.
 
Tip everything into one pan and mix together well, throwing away the bay leaf.  Next add the garlic, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the beans and vegetables are really soft.  Mash the beans against the side of the pan with a fork, this allows the beans to thicken the soup.  Pour in the milk and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.
  
Serve immediately and sprinkle the top with freshly chopped parsley. Absolutely delicious with warm crusty bread.

 
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