adapted from Vegetarian cookbook by Linda Fraser

Serves 6


1 cups dried cannellini or other white beans
1 bay leaf
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups boiling water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, to serve


1.  Pick over the beans carefully, discarding any stones or other particles.  Rinse thoroughly in cold water to ensure that they are clean.  Soak in a large bowl of cold water overnight.  Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan of water, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Drain.  Return the beans to the pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil again.  Add the bay leaf and simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender.  Drain again.  Remove the bay leaf.

2.  Puree about three-quarters of the beans in a food processor or blender, adding a little water if necessary, to create a smooth paste.

3.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Stir in the onion and cook until it softens.  Add the carrot and celery, and cook for 5 minutes more.

4.  Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and thyme.  Cook 6-8 minutes more, stirring often.

5.  Pour in the boiling water.  Stir in the beans and the bean puree.  Season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Serve in individual soup bowls, sprinkled with a little olive oil.

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White Bean Soup