Cannellini beans are a brilliant store cupboard staple. They are really convenient to add to soups, dips, stews and salads, thanks to their dense and creamy flavour. If you buy them tinned, just remember to always rinse really well before using. I tweaked a recipe for Cannellini Bean and Tomato Soup from Tesco’s website, but as always, don’t be afraid to add your own flavours or other vegetables and make the recipe your own.
Cannellini beans are actually in the Haricot family and are extremely nutritious. They are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Tomatoes are among a small group of vegetables whose nutrient content is actually enhanced by cooking. They contain Lycopene, the phytochemical which gives tomatoes their red hue, together with significant antioxidant properties. We love antioxidants and lycopene is a powerful one with health benefits which include sun protection, improved heart health and a lower risk of certain types of cancer. According to an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry “Several cooking trials heated raw tomatoes to 190 degrees F for two, 15 and 30 minutes. Vitamin C and lycopene values were measured at each interval. Research results indicated a significant drop in vitamin C, but in contrast, a substantial increase in lycopene.”
This soup was very easy and fast to make and so comforting to eat! It makes 4 portions so I had some left over which I am going to have with poached eggs on top for breakfast.
- 2 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
- Onion X 1 finely sliced
- Garlic Cloves X 2 finely sliced
- Celery Stick finely chopped X 1
- Tomato Puree X 1 Tablespoon
- Paprika X 1 teaspoon
- Cannellini Beans X 2 400g Tins
- Chopped Tomatoes X 1 tin
- Vegetable Stock X 300ml
- Dried Thyme X 1 teaspoon
- Black Pepper
- Soften Onion and celery on medium heat
- When soft, add the garlic and saute for another couple of minutes
- Stir in the tomato puree and paprika and dried thyme for 2 minutes
- Add the beans, tomatoes & stock and bring to boil
- Bring down to a simmer for 30 minutes
- Add black pepper to taste
- Serve hot or cold
This makes about four portions and you could garnish with a sprig of thyme if you have it, or whatever herb you like. It makes a hearty lunch and you could serve with a wholegrain pitta to mop up the lovely tomato liquid.