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!
My Mother’s Comforting Bean Soup
- 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 To serve:
- 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.