This is a lovely soup. What I also love about it is that you can leave the bacon off and it instantly becomes veggie/vegan. It’s stuffed full of probiotic-friendly leeks. It’s from the BBC Good Food magazine.
4 tsp olive oil
500g leeks sliced
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
2 x 400g cans butter beans
500ml vegetable stock (or chicken if you like)
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
half a small packet of flat leaf parsley
3 rashers of streaky bacon
40g chopped kale, stems removed
25g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks, thyme and seasoning and cover and cook over a low heat for 15 mins until soft, adding a splash of water if need be – don’t let the leeks stick.
Add the butter beans with the liquid from the cans, the stock and mustard. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 mins until hot. Blend with a stick blender in the pan (or put in a blender). Stir through parsley, check seasoning.
Put bacon in a large frying pan, medium heat. Cook until crispy, set aside to cool. Add the remaining 1 tsp oil to the pan and tip in the kale and hazelnuts. Cook for a few minutes, stirring under the kale is wilted and crisping at the edge and the nuts toasted. Cut the bacon into small pieces and stir into the kale/nuts.
Reheat the soup, adding a bit of water if too thick (or have both operations going on at once) and sprinkle the bacon/nuts/kale on top.