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Tuscan bean soup

If you prefer a more coarsely textured soup, process only half the bean mixture. It's a good idea to stir through some chopped parsley before serving. You can also substitute the lard with a good-quality olive oil. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

2 tbsp lard 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 400 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 1.2 litres chicken stock 300 ml pouring cream For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil   Croûtons 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil 150 gm day-old ciabatta loaf, cut into rough cubes


  • 01
  • Heat lard in a large saucepan over medium heat, add leek, onion and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add beans and stock, bring to the boil, then cook over low-medium heat until beans are very tender (45 minutes-1 hour; add more stock if beans become too dry).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for croûtons, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add ciabatta and stir frequently until golden and crisp (2-4 minutes), then set aside on absorbent paper to drain.
  • 03
  • Transfer bean mixture to a food processor and process, in batches, with cream until smooth (alternatively, you can use a hand-held blender). Season to taste and serve hot, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with croûtons.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Stylish red Chianti Classico.

Featured in

May 2010

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