I absolutely love broad beans and am always looking for new ways to serve them. I invented this recipe from scratch.
As far as I know it claims no national or other influences. I just like it.
Broad beans are eaten all over the world and will grow in most climates.
In ours, their toleration of frost as young plants means that the young, tender beans are available from mid-spring onwards.
- 220g/8oz shelled broad beans
- 110g/4oz sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for two hours and cut into small pieces
- 110g/4oz smoked cheddar or similar, grated
- Medium onion, chopped small
- Clove garlic, or more to taste, crushed
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 litre/35fl.oz vegetable stock, heated
- Tbsp olive oil
- Bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
What to do
Steam or boil the broad beans until just tender, 4 minutes for small beans, 10 for the biggest ones. Big broad beans may need to have the tough outer skins rubbed off - or you can cheat and use frozen - broad beans freeze really well and come ready rubbed.
At the same time, fry the onion gently in the oil, add the garlic and diced carrots and mix well. Fry for a further 2 minutes, keeping the heat low.
Pour on the heated stock. Puree half the beans in a food processor, or mash them with a fork or potato masher, and add them to the stock with the dried tomatoes and the bay leaf.
Mix well and allow the mixture to simmer for an hour.
At this stage, if necessary you can suspend operations until just before you're ready to serve the soup. At that point, add the unpuréed half of the beans and the cheese, and stir well.
Taste before seasoning, as smoked cheese tends to be particularly salty. Serve with a good, crusty bread.