Italian Bean Soup

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“Adapted from a River Cafe recipe I saw on TV. Good simple country soup with very distinctive flavours. Would be suitable for a starter at a dinner party where the dishes to follow are perhaps more complex in flavour. Would also be good in winter, sat around the fire with friends and lovers”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak beans in cold water overnight.
  2. Rinse well and cover with cold water, add a good size bunch of fresh basil and a whole bulb of garlic with the top sliced off, then cook until tender.
  3. NB: It is important that you let them boil fast for at least ten minutes for health reasons!
  4. Put a generous quantity of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add two teasponns of finely chopped garlic.
  5. Soften without browning and then add two firmly packed cups of finely chopped fresh parsley (flat or curly is fine.) Toss round for a few moments, then slowly add the cooked beans.
  6. When they have all been added, mash with a slotted spoon so some texture still remains.
  7. It is meant to be quite thick.
  8. Serve with a drizzle of green olive-oil and some nice rough country bread.

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