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White Bean Soup

ingredients

serves 4
175 g (6 oz) haricot beans
1 medium onion, skinned and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, skinned and crushed
1.4 litres (2 1/2 pints) chicken stock
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried rosemary
125 g (4 oz) Red Leicester cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper
croutons to garnish

method

1. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 2 - 3 hours. Drain well.

2. Place the onion in a large saucepan with the garlic, beans and stock. Add the dried rosemary. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.

3. Puree half the stock in a blender with half the beans or rub through a sieve.

4. Return the pureed soup to the pan, add the cheese and adjust seasoning. Bring to serving temperature. Serve accompanied with crisp, fried croutons.

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