I think vegan January has truly changed me. I accidentally made this into a vegan soup. I came up with an idea for a white bean soup that I thought could be nice, made it, and then realised it was entirely vegan.
I know! Mad.
I didn’t want to shock you too much, so I made a ridiculously buttery, garlicky crouton to go on the side. You could easily make this vegan too if you wanted to (just use margarine instead of butter), so I went one step further and added a couple of shavings of parmesan too. Much more my style.
Far from merely being the token bit of cheese that’s pretty much required in everything I make, the parmesan does actually make a great addition to this soup. It goes nice and soft and melty, and combined with the hot, comforting soup and the crunchy garlic crouton… it’s just heavenly.
I can’t believe I just said the word ‘heavenly’, but nothing else would do.
Of course, the soup would be great on its own too, if you’re trying to be good, or you’re just not really into cheese or garlic bread (who are you and how can I be like you?). It’s such a hearty soup, and it really couldn’t be easier to make.
Like most great recipes, it starts with some onions and garlic. Then you add the mushrooms, and cook until your vegetables are just beginning to caramelise. The spinach and white beans are next, along with some vegetable stock and enough black pepper to make you sneeze for days. A pinch of nutmeg takes it over the edge to pure deliciousness.
In about twenty minutes’ time, you could be digging into a bowl of hot white bean soup. What are you waiting for?
- For the soup
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 200g mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 x 400g tin white beans, drained (240g when drained)
- 75g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 400ml vegetable stock
- Black pepper
- 1/8tsp nutmeg
- A few shavings of vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, to serve (optional)
- For the garlic crouton
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1tbsp butter or margarine
- Black pepper
- 4 slices baguette (~1inch thick)
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for around 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, and cook for a further 5 minutes, until soft.
- Add the white beans and spinach, along with the vegetable stock. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Turn the heat up a little to bring to a simmer, and cook for a few minutes until piping hot.
- To make the garlic crouton, combine the minced garlic, chopped parsley, butter and salt and pepper in a small bowl, and mix well. Lightly toast one side of each slice of baguette under the grill (broiler), and then turn them over and spread the garlic butter on the un-toasted side. Return to the grill for another minute or so, until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve the soup with the garlic croutons, topped with a few shavings of parmesan if desired.
For another vegan soup recipe, take a look at my Thai green curry spinach soup: