Leek & Bean Soup

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Some soup on the menu today! This soup is an Italian style vegetable soup that's ready in no time and really fills you up. Tinned cannelloni, butter, kidney or mixed beans would all work well. If using dried beans, soak as advised and allow to simmer in the stock for the required time before frying the additional veg. 

Serve with a slice or two of Weight Watchers whole meal bread and a little low fat butter, or 2 slices of wheaten bread such as Mc Cambridges. A couple of Ryvita crisp bread also go very well as an alternative. 

The following recipe makes two generous lunch/dinner portions or four starter portions.

• 2 pints of boiling water
• 2 vegetable stock cubes. (Preferably low sodium stock cubes). Crumbled
• 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
• 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato puree
• 10g sundried tomatoes. Soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drained
• 2 sweeteners 
• 1 x 410g tin of beans. Drained, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
• 1 teaspoon of olive oil
• 100g onion. Peeled and chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic. Peeled and finely chopped
• 100g leek. Washed, topped, tailed and roughly chopped
• 100g celery. Washed, topped, tailed and roughly sliced
• A good twist of black pepper and a little salt if needed
• 5g of parmesan shavings
• A couple of fresh basil leaves. Washed and roughly torn

  1. Heat a large pot on a medium to high heat. Add the boiling water and bring it back to the boil. When boiling, add the stock cubes, Italian seasoning, puree, sun dried tomatoes, sweeteners and beans. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium and allow it to simmer away.
  2. In a separate frying pan, heat to a medium to high heat and add the olive oil and add the onion and fry for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  3. Next add the garlic and continue to fry for a further minute or so. When done, transfer the onion and garlic to the simmering stock.
  4. Next, add the leeks to the frying pan and stir fry for 5 minutes or so until softened. You should season the leeks with a little salt and black pepper. Transfer to the stock when done.
  5. Next, add the celery to the pan and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. (You can add a spray of Fry Light One Cal spray oil if the celery doesn't seem to be doing anything in the pan). Again, season lightly and when done, transfer the celery to stock.
  6. Stir the stock well to make sure the additional ingredients are combined. Bring the stock to the boil and once it's boiled for a minute or so reduce the heat, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or so. You should partially cover the pot with a lid or plate.
  7. Taste it and add pepper and a little salt if it needs it.
  8. Serve in warmed bowls with the parmesan shavings and torn basil leaves on top.

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