spring lunch / white bean & sage soup

Illustration by Zena Kay.

White Bean & Sage Soup

Making soup in the middle of a work day can bring something soothing amidst all of the stresses of the world - this is my quick and simple lunch today. Ideal for using up tinned beans and making some more space on your shelf, this soup is an ideal meal for spring afternoons while you're working at home. It's super quick to make but tastes like it's been simmering all day. It’s going to be pureed so don’t worry about how you chop things. It will keep for a week in the fridge and freezes very well. Certain parts are swappable depending on what you have, any type of white bean will work. Pancetta or a cured fatty pork like Guanciale can replace the olive oil if you've got it to add a salty savoury note to the base of the soup which I love (olive oil works just as well though to fry the aromatics.) If you can't find sage try rosemary or thyme, each will bring something different but sage is my favourite if you've got it. Eat with bread or the thing I love most in the world, a Welsh Rarebit, for a truly spectacular lunch.

Ingredients 2 tins of white beans 8-10 big leaves of sage Half an onion, chopped roughly 2 cloves of garlic, sliced roughly Olive oil or pancetta 2 bay leaves

A few whole cloves A piece of Parmesan rind 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock Salt and black pepper

Method Coat the base of a large pot in olive oil and fry the onion until it’s golden brown. If you're using pancetta skip the oil and render the fat to fry the onion in. Add in the garlic, sage, bay leaves and cloves and fry for a further minute until fragrant. Drain the beans and rinse under water before adding them into the pot. Make sure all the beans are coated in the oil before pouring over the stock and adding in the Parmesan rind. Simmer for twenty minutes until the beans start breaking down on the edges. Take off the heat and let it cool a little. Remove the bay leaves, cloves, and parmesan rind. Season to taste before blending until smooth. Pour back into the pot to warm through before eating.

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