Leek and Butterbean Soup
400g leeks, trimmed and sliced; 1 small onion, peeled and sliced; 2 cloves garlic, sliced; 2 x 400g tin butterbeans, drained; 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only; 1 bay leaf; 70ml extra virgin olive oil; 1.1 litre chicken / vegetable stock
Heat a little butter or oil in a large saucepan and add onions and leeks. Cook gently for ten minutes until softened, covered with a lid. Don’t allow the leeks to burn. After ten minutes, add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and a little salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further ten minutes.
Drain the butterbeans, rinse, tip into the pan with the leeks. Cook for two minutes, still covered then pour over the stock. Bring to boil and simmer gently for ten minutes. Using a jug blender or hand held stick blender, blend until very smooth and velvety in consistency, adding the extra virgin olive oil as you blend. Tip back into a clean pan and check seasoning. Return to heat and when piping hot, serve. Top with drizzle of olive oil, cream, goat’s cheese or croutons.