Butterbean & chickpea soup with pesto broth

Butterbean & chickpea soup with pesto broth

It’s that time of year again, and I don’t know about you, but I already feel sick as a dog. I’ve prematurely eaten my weight in chocolate and cheese but then that’s really all a vegetarian can eat in Belgium. So if like me, you need an injection of wholesome goodness, I prescribe a bowl of my chickpea and butterbean soup – it doesn’t get much healthier than this… Now, where did I put the Toblerone.

Chickpea and butter bean soup with pesto broth
Serves 4 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 50 mins / V Vn Gf Df ❄
You’ll need: Food processor, Nutribullet or hand blender for the broth
1 tsp rapeseed oil
½ tsp sea salt flakes
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
½ stick of celery, diced
½  de-seeded red pepper, diced
2 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can chickpeas washed and drained
1 can butter beans washed and drained
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 litre of vegetable stock

For the pesto broth:
30g fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. In a large pot, sweat down the onion, carrot, celery and red pepper along with a good pinch of salt over a medium heat for 5 mins. Add a dash of water, give it a stir and continue to cook with the lid on for a further 5-10 mins until the vegetables have softened.
2. Add the roughly chopped tomato, drained butter beans, chickpeas and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season with black pepper and add the dried herbs before turning the heat down and simmering for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, add the basil to a food processor along with two roughly chopped garlic cloves. Add 8 tbs of the soup broth and blitz until you have a runny pesto. Put to one side. 
4. Once the soup has thickened, ladle into bowls and serve drizzled with the pesto broth and extra virgin olive oil.

Butterbean & chickpea soup with pesto broth

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V – Vegetarian    Vn – Vegan     Gf – Gluten free     Df – Dairy free
To freeze: Cool the soup fully and transfer to an airtight container. Consume within three months.

Middle Eastern broth

Middle Eastern foul (ful) soup

OK, so I’m using the word ‘foul’ loosely, as this soup doesn’t resemble a traditional Middle Eastern foul at all – but in my defence, Sainsbury’s don’t sell fava beans and I wanted to make it more of a soup than a dip. So sue me. Please don’t sue me, I haven’t got any money. It’s January, and all I have is a can of chickpeas and a rather stale mince pie that I am currently eating. Happy New Year, everyone!

Middle Eastern broth (foul)
Serves 2 / hands on time 25 mins / total time 30 mins / V Vn* Df Gf
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and sliced
500ml weak veg stock (I use ½ a vegetable Knorr stock pot)
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can chickpeas or fava beans (if you can get them)
2 eggs
Handful parsley, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Pickled turnips or pickled red cabbage to serve (optional) – See TIP
2 wholemeal pita breads to serve (optional)
Tahini dressing:
1 tbs tahini
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbs boiling water
Pinch of salt

TIP: Pickled turnips are notoriously hard to find, I went to my local Mediterranean supermarket in Kentish town but you can buy them here. Alternatively, leave it out altogether or substitute for pickled red cabbage.

Make it vegan: Forgo the boiled eggs.

1. Start by boiling a small saucepan of water for the eggs. Once boiling, gently lower each egg into the water and let boil for 30 seconds before reducing to simmer for 9 mins for a creamy yolk or 12 mins for a harder one (be careful not to overcook the eggs as they will smell more pungent and become harder to peel). Once cooked, transfer the eggs into a small bowl iced water. Put to one side.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the sliced onion along with 1 tsp of salt flakes for 5-7 mins in a medium sized pot with the lid on until the onions start to soften – add a dash of water to help the onions steam.
3. Add the cumin and the coriander and cook off the spices for a further 2 mins before adding the weak vegetable stock. Up the heat and bring to the boil before adding the chickpeas or fava beans. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
4. To make the tahini dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined and put to one side. Finely chop the fresh parsley.
5. After 10 mins, take the broth off the heat and put to one side whilst you peel the eggs.
6. To assemble your soup, divide the broth into bowls and top with the  sliced boiled eggs, sliced pickled turnips, fresh parsley, and a good drizzle of tahini dressing and extra virgin olive oil.

Middle Eastern foul (ful) soup

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V – Vegetarian.    Vn – Vegan’s forgo the eggs     Df – Dairy free
Gf – I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be.

Fridge soup

Fridge Soup
Fridge Soup

Fridge soup has prevented me from starving to death before pay day for several years now. It’s literally made up of left over bits and bobs in my veg drawer, which may not sound appetising but trust me, it’s delicious. All you need is an onion, a couple of stock cubes and a load of old veg that needs using up.
It’s never a thick blended soup though, more of a broth inspired by many a skiing holiday. You may or may not know, that being vegetarian in Europe is shit. Made worse by the fact that my dad was a very fussy vegetarian. This meant the only thing we could really eat was cheese because well, there wasn’t much else. Getting the cheese sweats up a mountain became the norm for me and dad – that’s what two fondues a day will do to you.
However, sometimes we’d be lucky enough to order a vegetable broth. Probably wasn’t vegetarian but we never asked, we didn’t want know. It was always the same, a beautifully clear stock with small elegantly chopped vegetables floating in it and served with a white baguette. Mmmm.
So anyway, back to the soup. Mine isn’t quite so delicate but it’s certainly tasty. Sometimes I dig around my cupboards and chuck in a can of pulses along with anything else that needs using up. You can put whatever you want in it really but here’s the formula I tend to use…

½ onion + 2 garlic cloves + 1.5 litre stock + half filled pot of veg + 1 can of pulses (optional)

Fridge soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time xx / Takes 25 – 30 minutes / V Vn Gf Df
1 tsp rapeseed oil
½  onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ green pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
½ an aubergine, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls spinach
3 ribs of celery plus inner leaves, roughly chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Small handful fresh coriander finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Grated vegetarian cheese to serve (optional)

TIP: If using green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, courgettes, leafy greens etc, add these 5 mins before the end as they won’t need much cooking – they will keep their vibrant colour and crunch. 

1. Fry the onion and garlic in a large heavy bottomed pot in a tsp of oil over a medium heat. Sweat with the lid on for 5 mins before removing and adding a dash of water to help the onions steam and soften. Add the carrots, green pepper, leek and continue cook for 5 mins.
2. Add the stock, season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Finally add the kale, coriander, spinach and cook for a further 5 mins along with any canned pulses you may fancy (optional). Serve the broth drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese (optional).

Other variation examples…
Fridge vegetable broth vs2

½ an onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 courgette, 2 medium carrots, 1 leek, 2 handfuls of kale, small baking potato, ½ can of sweetcorn, small handful parsley, half a bottle of passata, 1.5 litre veg stock

Fridge vegetable broth vs3 
½ an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 can of chickpeas, 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, 1 baking potato, half a bag of spinach, 3 small carrots, 8 cherry tomatoes, 1.5 litre veg stock, finely chopped parsley.

Fridge Soup
Fridge Soup

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label.
❄ The soup is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.