French Bean Soup Recipe
Make use of those excess French Beans in this tasty soup which freezes
particularly well. Easy to cook and made simpler with our step by step pictures.
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|350g / 12½oz French Beans (also called fine or filet beans)
|1 medium (approx. 250g / 9oz) potato
|1 medium onion
|4 medium ripe tomatoes
|3 garlic cloves
|1 litre / 1.75 pints vegetable stock - fresh or water and two stock cubes
|2 tablespoons tomato puree concentrate
|5 tablespoons white wine (optional, use water instead)
|1 teaspoon dried / 2 teaspoons fresh basil
|1 teaspoon dried / 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
|3 tablespoons olive oil
|To taste salt and pepper
1 hour 25 minutes
Yes (see cook's notes)
1 large pan
Peel the potato and cut into cubes.
Top and tail the onion and then peel it and roughly chop.
COOK'S NOTES FOR FRENCH BEAN SOUP
There are three ways to get hold of French Beans and the first is to
buy them. As an aside we bought ours from the Co-op, some ready trimmed and
some whole. The weight on the packet of trimmed beans was 170g but in fact
they weighed over 200g! The weight of the untrimmed beans was stated as 200g
but they in fact weighed 175g. The lesson is, always weigh your ingredients
whatever the pack has on it.
The two remaining methods of acquiring French Beans are to grow them
yourself or be given some grown by a friend. In season, all vegetable
gardeners produce a massive glut of French Beans. The problem is what to do
with such a huge amount of beans?
Some claim that par-boiling and then freezing them results in frozen
French Beans which taste delicious when cooked at a later date. It's just
not true, the flavour and texture of French beans is severely impaired by
freezing. Try a blind tasting of frozen and fresh French beans side by side
and the difference is immediately apparent.
Leaving the beans unpicked is no solution either, they just grow larger
and the result is an even weightier crop. And large French beans are not as
tender as young small ones. The solution? Make this French bean soup and
freeze it - this soup really does freeze well. And it matters not one jot how
large or small the beans are.
Recipe by David Marks.
Add the chopped onions to the large pan with the olive oil on a lowish heat.
Let the onions fry gently for 12 minutes turning every few
minutes to ensure they are evenly cooked. You want the onions to be
softened during this cooking time but don't let them turn brown.
Add the potato, French beans, tomatoes, tomato
puree, stock, and white wine to the onions and bring them to a boil.
Now turn down the heat to low and cook the soup on a low heat (just
simmering) for 45 minutes stirring a couple of times.
Add the garlic, basil and oregano to the soup and
then pour it into a food liquidiser - you will probably need to do
this in two separate lots. Liquidise for a minute or so.
Pour back into the pan and reheat for a minute or so. Garnish with herbs
(parsley is good) if you have any.