White Bean Soup

This is a type of Catalan style soup. The thing about this style of food is that it’s undeniably brown. Frying, pureeing, adding paprika… you’re always going to end up with something brownish.
That said, this is an earthy soup and certainly hits the spot in that restorative way only soup can.
You can experiment with different white beans to fine-tune this to your liking – here I used 2 parts cannellini beans to 1 part butter beans. The cannellini for their nutty flavour and the butter beans for their creamy richness. Canned beans are fine – you’re going to be pureeing them so save yourself the time and use canned.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley – finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • A thumb sized chunk of chorizo cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Sakt & pepper.

Boil the beans in enough water to cover them by a centimetre or so. You only need to boil them for 3-4 minutes – not too hard, just a gentle bubble to the water. Drain the beans but keep the cooking water.
Now you need to purée the beans – use a handheld food processor for this. Start by adding a couple of glugs of the cooking water to get it started. Keep adding the cooking water as the beans smooth to a purée. The soup really wants to be thin enough to pour but will still coat the back of a spoon. Personally I don’t really like soups to be too thick but this is a bean purée so will have some substance to it. Set the purée aside.
In a thick-bottomed pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and fry the garlic briefly (20 seconds should do it). Add most of the parsley and fry for a further minute. Add the paprika and then the purée. Cook the soup for a few minutes longer, adding more of the cooking water if you need to thin the soup further. Season to taste – this soup will take a decent amount of black pepper and salt.
In another pan fry the cubed chorizo until crispy.
Serve the soup – stir in the remaining parsley and add the chorizo on top.
This is surprisingly filling – you wont need too much…