Another quick lunch was required and I fancied some wholesome soup. I wanted something healthy so lentils and beans sounded good. I had also recently pilfered some rosemary from a friends garden so wanted to put that in. I toyed with the idea of making a chorizo, tomato, red pepper & butter bean soup but I’ve been eating so much chorizo lately that I thought that I should give those poor Spanish pigs a break, they’re probably having nightmares about me. I did use Spanish beans though, the giant Spanish butter beans – Judion de la Granja. These are huge white butter beans, quite creamy in texture. They can be hard to get and pricey so feel free to replace with butter beans, it will still be very nice, I just like using different ingredients and the drama of the large beans. If you do want them El Navarrico do them in jars and you can get them in most Spanish deli’s. You can also get them dry at Brindisa in Borough or Exmouth Market in London. Garcia’s in Notting Hill sell the jarred ones as do most Spanish deli’s, this just happens to be the one I know well.
Back to the soup. It’s important to use a good stock here. The soup is quite brothy and the stock delivers much of the flavour. You can use chicken or vegetable and preferably homemade. Mine was vegetable made by boiling some carrots, garlic, cloves, celery, leek, rosemary, just bits I had in the fridge really. As long as you think the veg will complement the veg in your soup it will work well. Stock requires alot of veg so make sure you use plenty. Alternatively, just be sure to use a good shop bought stock. The recipe follows.
Ingredients (for 2):
300g jarred or tinned judion/broad beans (drained weight)
2 sprigs of rosemary, stripped of the twig and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
50g split red lentils
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
Extra virgin olive oil
Sauté the onion over a medium heat in some olive oil until soft & translucent
Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute or so
Add the stock, garlic, rosemary and the lentils, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Season to taste.
Serve with a spring of rosemary for a garnish and a drizzle of extra viring olive oil.