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Haricot Bean and Olive Soup

ingredients

serves 4
4 oz (100 g) dried haricot beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 onion, skinned and chopped
2 garlic cloves, skinned and crushed
900 ml (1 1/2 pints) vegetable stock
2 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped
1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped
4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 oz (100 g) French or dwarf beans, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) lengths
1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato puree (paste)
1 courgette (zucchini), sliced
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley
2 level tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
salt and pepper, to taste
25 g (1 oz) stoned (seeded) black olives, thinly sliced

method

1. Put the haricot beans in a saucepan with fresh water to cover and boil for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Drain the beans, rinse and add to the onion with the stock.

5. Bring to the boil, then simmer, half covered, for about 1 1/4 hours.

6. Add the celery, carrot and tomatoes and cook, half covered, for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Add the French beans and red pepper and continue cooking for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato puree, courgette, herbs and seasoning.

8. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

9. Sprinkle the olives over the top and serve,

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