Carrot and Butterbean Soup with Complicated Pesto

A twist on a soup I’ve made a few times and really like, which is carrot soup with chicken. I decided to swap the chicken for butterbeans, and add some fancy pesto to serve with the soup, as inspired by the amazing minestrone from the other week. Here is the recipe for both soup and pesto, should you fancy either of them.

Carrot and Butterbean Soup:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 large carrots (about 1.5kg)
  • 2 medium baking potatoes
  • good pinch sea salt
  • 8 cups just boiled water
  • 5 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
  • leaves stripped from four or five stems of thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, plus thin slices of lemon to serve
  • 400g tin butterbeans, drained
  • salt and black or white pepper to taste

Start by preparing all the ingredients; peel the carrots, top and tail them, then slice.Peel and dice the potatoes. Strip the thyme leaves from the stems. Then, heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat, and toss in the carrots and potatoes along with the salt. Put the kettle on to boil. Stir the vegetables in the pot frequently to stop them sticking while you wait for the water to be ready, then pour in the eight cups of water, and add the stock cubes. Stir well, bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer for half an hour.

While the soup simmers, make the pesto, which I have rightly named as it contains a lot more ingredients than your average pesto either needs or wants, but is more complex and fragrant for it. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup rosemary leaves, stripped from their stems
  • 1/4 cup thyme leaves, also stripped from their stems
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp basil oil
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin seed oil
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • few drops lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toast the pine nuts and let them cool. Then put them in a grinder (or similar) along with the herbs and garlic, and pulse several times until mashed. Add the cheese and pulse another once or twice. Scrape out the mix and add all the oils, lemon zest and lemon juice, then stir together. Taste and season to… taste…

When the soup’s had its simmering time, set it aside to cool a little. Keep the heat on, but turned to low. Pour the soup into a blender and process until completely smooth, or use a hand blender if that’s what you prefer/have. Tip back into the pot (or leave in the pot, if that’s where it is) and add the thyme, lemon juice and butterbeans. Stir and taste, and season if necessary. Warm the soup through again for five minutes, then serve with a slice of lemon, a teaspoon of pesto and black or white ground pepper. Take a fuzzy photo of it before you eat it; this is an important stage…



About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983. View all posts by Rock Salt

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