My Mother’s Comforting Bean Soup
This soup is something I remember so well from when I was growing up. My grandmother was an amazing cook and passed on her skills to my mother, who in turn would make this particular soup during a Bulgarian holiday called Badni Vecher. It is a pre-Christmas tradition that has stuck with me ever since. It is packed with plant based protein and is a fantastic no waste recipe. Serve with a chunk of bread for cosy, nourishing comfort food at its best!
Olive oil, for frying
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green (bell) pepper, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato purée (paste) or 3 tablespoons chopped tomatoes (it’s just for taste)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
400 g (14 oz) butter beans (lima beans), shop-bought or cooked
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon dried mint
500 ml (17 fl oz / 2 cups) water
Pink Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste
Super Bread (from Happy Food) or good-quality shop-bought bread, optional
A handful of rocket (arugula), optional
In a medium pan, heat some olive oil and fry the onion, pepper and carrot until nice and soft.
Next add in the tomato purée or tomatoes, coconut sugar, beans and all the spices and herbs and give it a good stir.
Add the water and gently simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Ladle out one helping of the bean soup into a bowl and mash the beans until you get a fine paste. Return the bean paste back into the pan – this will thicken it up and make it nice and creamy – and warm through, stirring.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with rocket and enjoy with some lovely home-made bread on the side.