broccoli, butter bean and pistachio soup
 

I adore this recipe. lt does depend on good stock, but I don't always make my own. It also works wonderfully with leftover shredded chicken or tofu cubes, pan-fried until golden.

serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
4 leeks, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 ½ litres good chicken or vegetable stock
1 head of broccoli, roughly chopped
1 x 400g tin of butter beans (preferably skins removed for a smoother soup)
A pinch of saffron threads (optional), plus more to serve
50g pistachio nuts, skins off, plus more to serve

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, then gently saute the leeks and celery until they are translucent. Add 1 litre of the stock and immerse the broccoli in it.

Add the butter beans and a few threads of saffron, then simmer with the lid on until the broccoli is just cooked (about 10 minutes).

Toast the pistachios very gently in a dry pan for 2 minutes over a medium heat to intensify the flavour but not to brown them. Add them to the soup. Taste and season generously with sea salt and black pepper.

Transfer, in batches, to a high-speed blender and give it a really good whizz until it is extra-smooth. Taste and check that the consistency and flavour arc to your taste; if not, adjust with the remaining stock.

Pour into bowls and sprinkle with a few more pistachios, chopped, and threads of saffron.