April is a fickle month. One day it’s 70 degrees the next it’s in the low 40’s. There’s a craving for lighter springtime food but there’s still a chill in the air – so Celery and White Bean Soup works wonders. It has a nice lightness to it from the celery but offers sustainable energy from the beans, added extra flavor from the red pepper flakes and a splash of lemon juice gives you a bowl of deliciousness with a nod to spring. It’s also super cheap to make and very nourishing.
Celery is a very underrated and somewhat forgotten vegetable. It’s full of vitamins (K,C and B6) and minerals (potassium and folate) plus it’s super cleansing and nourishes the liver. In addition, celery’s high percentage of water and electrolytes can prevent dehydration and special compounds help celery to act as a diuretic and reduce bloating. All that from a what I used to think about as a very ordinary vegetable.
Cannellini beans (my favorite bean) are a power house of nutrition, one cup contains 15.4gs of protein, 0.9gs of fat, 40.4gs of healthy carbohydrates (yes, they do exist – don’t be a carbophobe!) and a measly 0.6gs of sugar. In addition they contain a wealth of B vitamins along with iron, potassium and zinc. This soup is sounding better and better.
- A tablespoon or so of olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 -8 sticks of celery, (organic if possible) washed and finely chopped
- 2 leeks, washed and finely chopped
- 2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- PInch of red pepper flakes
- 2, 15oz cans of cannellini beans (thoroughly rinsed with cold water)
- 32 oz of vegetable stock (best possible quality or homemade)
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- Heat the olive oil in a medium to large saucepan, add the onion, sprinkle over a pinch of sea salt and saute on low for about 8 minutes until translucent.
- Add the celery, leeks, garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes, stir well to combine and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Add the drained beans, stir well, then add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, partially cover the pot with the lid and allow to gently bubble away for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, puree with an immersion blender or cool a little and transfer to a regular blender. Add the zest and juice of the lemon.
- Taste to check the seasonings and serve.