A few weeks ago, I woke up with the idea that I needed to be eating more beans. I am not sure where the thought came from but I decided to explore it with a little bit of culinary curiosity. I also decided it was a good opportunity to try and keep good to my ‘promise’ for 2023, that I start cooking from the recipe books that have been taking up space on my bookshelf. I found a very simple recipe for Borlotti bean soup in my ‘The Doctor’s Kitchen’ book by Dr Rupy Aujla.


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp grated root ginger
  • Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled lengthways into thin strips with a vegetable peeler, plus extra to serve
  • 400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200ml vegetable or chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp Pesto, to serve
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Instructions
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, rosemary and carrot and sauté for 2 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the borlotti beans and stock or water, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer half the soup to a blender and blitz until roughly blended. Return to the pan and season to taste.
  • Alternately, roughly blitz the mixture in the pan with a stick blender or masher until you have a rustic soup texture.
  • Serve topped with the pesto and a few carrot strips.

So, the first attempt was more like a paste than a soup! I used my hand blender and blitzed the whole lot which essentially made a purée. I quite liked the texture. Ignacio was unimpressed…

I also cheated a bit – I didn’t dice, grate or peel any of the vegetables in the way instructed by the recipe, I couldn’t be bothered. I put them all in my new mini-food processor. Right now I seem to be channelling 1950s housewife energy- acquiring kitchen gadgets to make my cooking life easier.

Second attempt.

I added 500ml of stock this time and it was more soup like.

I have to say, that both versions provided the level of comfort and stimulation of the palate that means I will be making this a staple in our home. It’s smooth and creamy and pesto adds just the right about of kick without overwhelming and taking over the whole thing.

Reference: adapted from The Doctor’s Kitchen Dr Rupy Aujla page 153.

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