Butterbean and Tomato Soup

This is a rather comforting, warming, winter soup. Wrap yourself around a hot mug of this next to a flickering fire, and you can feel morally and physically good, all at the same time.

Butter bean and tomato soup served with (prototype) vegan almond bread.

Butter bean and tomato soup served with toasted, (prototype) vegan almond bread.

A note about some of the ingredients: Don’t miss out on the bay leaf. I didn’t bother putting one in once, and to my mind the soup came out missing something. The margarine used to cook the onion should also not be missed: it gives a slightly rich cheeziness to the soup (enhanced by the nutritional yeast, if you use it).

If you don’t use a pressure cooker, you might need to add more water to the beans to prevent them from drying out as they cook. They should still be just covered in liquid, when they’ve finally softened.

1lb dried butter or lima beans
1 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
1 large yellow/white onion (or 1/2 large onion, and 6 spring/green onions – sliced into rounds.)
1 bay leaf
1 (~28oz) large tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1 tablespoon sugar (depending on how sweet your tomatoes are)

Pick the beans over for debris, wash, cover with water, and either leave to soak overnight, or bring the beans to a boil, turn off the heat, and leave, covered, for 1 hour before continuing.

Skin, and dice the white / yellow onion.

In a large saucepan or a pressure cooker pan, gently fry the white / yellow onion (not the spring/green onion, that gets added at the end, if you’re using it) on a medium heat in the margarine until starting to brown (5 -10 minutes).

Drain and rinse the beans, and add to the onions in the pressure cooker or saucepan, and pour on just enough water to cover.

Add the bay leaf to the beans and cook until soft (40-60 minutes gently simmering on the stove top, or 5 minutes at pressure in a pressure cooker – leave to come down from pressure naturally).

Make sure the beans are completely soft and falling apart before continuing.

Remove the bay leaf from the beans, and add the tomatoes.

Blend the soup until completely smooth; I use an immersion blender.

Add the spring/green onions, if using.

Simmer for 10 minutes or so until the flavors have melded, and the spring/green onion has softened (if using).

Adjust seasoning to taste with the salt, pepper, and sugar, and reheat to serve.

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