Posted in Recipes on 01.02.2023
White Bean Soup with Leeks and Pesto
prep: 10 mins / cook: 30 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 40 mins / quantity: 2 servings Print recipe?
This rich and creamy white bean soup with leeks, pearl barley and pesto is so easy to make – just one pan needed – and full of hearty delicious flavours!
I’ve long been a fan of butterbeans because they’re just SO versatile. But they really really shine in this white bean soup. It’s a big bowl of wholesome comfort and so easy to make. Everything is bubbled in one pan in around 25 minutes making it so simple and delicious!
There is no onus to make your own pesto but honestly, literally 5 minutes in a food processor and tastes so much better than anything shop bought.
And boy do we need this soup right now, it’s been so cold here in the UK the last couple of months. And as much as I love the house I’m currently in, these old stone houses do NOT hold the heat. This vegan soup is perfect – so many levels of flavour and a sort of cross between a veggie casserole and soup. And a big old bowl of comfort!
The Key Ingredients:
Butterbeans – my favourite white bean. Robust, creamy, lovely flavour all of their own. But you can sub with any white bean such as cannellini or haricot beans.
Pearl Barley – this helps thicken the broth while they cook to plump little pearls, absorbing all the flavours as they bubble. Pearl barley is also full of beneficial nutrients and fibre.
Lemon – not an obvious flavour addition but it adds a very subtle lightness.
Leeks – milder than onions they’re cooked to creamy aromatic perfection in this vegan soup recipe.
Cream – I love Alpro’s vegan cream – it’s also low in cholesterol and Alpro have been a certified B corp since 2018.
Pesto – honestly, make your own. So much more flavour. And can be whizzed up while your soup is bubbling away quietly on the stove.
How to make this easy white bean soup:
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan. The butter is there for flavour, the oil stops the butter burning. I also recommend Flora’s plant butter. So creamy and, well, buttery! Superb flavour.
Add the leeks and saute for a few minutes over a gentle heat until just starting to soften and caramelise. Then add the garlic and cook for just a minute. This helps tame that pungent garlic flavour that can overpower dishes.
Add the wine, stock and pearl barley, give a quick stir then bubble for 20-25 minutes until the barley is plump and soft and the broth has a thicker consistency.
If you’re making the pesto, this is the time to do it! Simply whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor.
Stir in the beans and cream, season to taste then bring to a gentle bubble.
Scoop into warmed bowls, dollop on the pesto, scatter over the parmesan shavings and serve with lots of crusty bread. Hands down, the cosiest bowl of soup.
If you make this vegan White Bean Soup or any of the recipes from The Cook & Him I’d LOVE to see! Just snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #thecookandhim and tagging @thecookandhim in the photo itself (as this guarantees I’ll see your picture!)
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White Bean Soup with Leeks and Pesto
prep: 10 mins / cook: 30 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 40 mins / quantity: 2 servings
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons (30g) vegan butter
1 leek – finely sliced
4 cloves garlic – peeled and crushed
juice of 1 lemon
3 cups (750ml) vegetable broth or stock
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine
1 x 400g can butterbeans (or other cooked white beans)
3/4 cup (90g) pearl barley
1/2 cup (125ml) vegan cream
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegan pesto
vegan parmesan shavings (optional)
- In a large saucepan melt together the butter and oil
- Add the sliced leek and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until just softened
- Add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring
- Add the lemon juice, broth/stock, wine and pearl barley, give a quick stir then bubble over a medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the barley is plump and soft
- Stir in the beans and cream and season to taste
- Scoop into warmed serving bowls, dollop on a couple of spoonfuls of pesto and scatter over the vegan parmesan shavings
- Serve immediately with lots of crusty bread!
- Chill and store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer
Hello and welcome to The Cook & Him.
We are Sam (The Cook), Phil (Him) and our little dog Nooch. What started with a plan to shed a few pounds back in 2016, soon became obvious that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring.
So, combining Sam’s 15 years of experience working within Michelin starred restaurants and our love for deliciously healthy food, we’re creating recipes for you to make and enjoy. We’ve added our own unique spin on traditional and contemporary vegetarian and vegan recipes that keep you (and your pets!) healthy and full. And we make sure they just work.
All things autumn - warming soups, savoury bakes and delicious sweet treats!
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