Borlotti bean, vegetable and spinach soup


Did you spend this morning playing with a toddler in the park, perhaps with crunchy autumn leaves underfoot? Or did you have a shivery trip to work today, before the sun rose fully to warm away the autumn chill? I did the former, and we had a lovely time - but I really wish I'd taken my gloves! Whatever your day holds, if you're looking for a warming, healthy and filling vegan soup recipe then this is for you.

It's packed full of goodness (carrots, borlotti beans and spinach) and flavour (thyme, fennel, onion and garlic). If you're not keen on the taste of fennel you can leave this out and the soup will still be delicious. Even better, it only takes around half an hour to cook. If you don't have borlotti beans available feel free to substitute others. White beans such as cannellini beans work well in this soup.

This is the kind of recipe I save for days when it's just me and the toddler for lunch. He's still at the age where he gets excited about carrots. My other two children would cause a drama if I served this to them. I know I should keep trying but I'm in this for the long game and this is going to be too big a leap for them at the moment!

Whether you have a child at home who would enjoy this or not this is a delicious and simple soup recipe. Make a batch on the weekend and take it into work for lunch, or enjoy it as a family. If you do try it I'd love to hear what you thought!


Here's how to make vegan borlotti bean, vegetable and spinach soup:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked, washed and chopped
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin of borlotti beans
100g baby spinach
Salt, pepper, chilli flakes - to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add the onion and the celery. Stir well. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for five minutes. Add the carrots, stir again, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.
3. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and thyme stir and cook for a minute or two.
4. Pour in the beans and the vegetable stock. This makes quite a liquid soup - if you prefer yours thicker perhaps start with 500ml and add water until you have your preferred consistency. Bring to the boil, then cook for 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through.
5. Stir through the spinach until wilted.
6. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste. 

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