Country supper soup

Country supper soup

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
8
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

This is the way I have always made a family winter soup, and still do. I like to make a big pot of it. Some I put into screw-top jars for my granddaughter Louise to take down to her farm at weekends. It’s a welcome gesture, as they arrive lateish on a Friday night after work and a long drive.

If I am too busy to cook the beans I use canned ones, sometimes chickpeas — whatever is in the pantry — drained and rinsed first. Essential to the soup, though, is a good homemade stock.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 cup dried cannellini beans, drained
or 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained
bouquet garni
30g butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 medium onions, cut into large dice
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 stalks celery, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plain flour
9 cups Chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig each thyme and marjoram
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
parmesan cheese, grated, (optional)

Method

  1. If using dried beans, soak them overnight in cold water to cover. Drain the beans, then put into a saucepan with a bouquet garni and enough water to cover. Bring slowly to the boil on medium heat, reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 45 minutes, until tender. Drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and cook the garlic and vegetables, covered, very gently for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. This is called ‘sweating’ the vegetables; their flavour infuses the butter. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the flour. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring gently. Add the stock, stirring, then the bay leaf and herbs. Stir until slightly thickened, then add the drained beans. Simmer, half-covered, for another 20 minutes.
  3. Check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and stir in the parsley. Ladle into warm soup bowls and offer, if you like, a bowl of grated parmesan cheese for people to sprinkle over their soup.

Bouquet garni

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Place 5 peppercorns inside a short piece of celery, securing with a small piece of carrot, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley, and a bay leaf. Tie up with string and use it to flavour stocks, stews and casseroles. Remove before serving food.
Tags:
Margaret
Fulton
Favourites
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