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This fennel and bean soup recipe will give you two of your five-a-day with an added extra special treat

Fennel and Bean Soup with Parmesan

Hearty, warming, and a bit different to the usual carrot and coriander, this soup will liven up lunchtime midweek menus, and fill you with vitamins and fibre.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Soup
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 banana shallots sliced
  • 2 bulbs of fennel sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • olive oil
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 400 g tin beans - cannellini butter, borlotti, or even chickpeas will work
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 50 g grated parmesan
  • 100 g ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • small tub greek yoghurt to serve
  • 1 egg optional

Instructions
 

  • Gently fry the vegetables in some olive oil over a low heat for five minutes, then braise, covered, for 30 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally, and adding a splash of water if needed.
  • Gently dry fry the coriander seeds until they brown and release their spicy aroma, then crush with a pestle and mortar.
  • Add the stock cube, crushed coriander seeds, the tin of pulses (including liquid), and 750ml of boiling water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
  • Liquidise in a blender, or with a Savisto stick blender, and season.
  • Crush the fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar.
  • Cut the bread into 1cm cubes, and mix in a bowl with the parmesan, crushed fennel seeds, and a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Spread the cubes in a roasting pan and cook in the oven at 150 deg C for 10 minutes, until just crisp, but still chewy in the middle.
  • Serve the soup with a dollop of greek yoghurt and a handful of croutons.
  • Variation: to really make a meal of this, Jamie sometimes adds a poached egg to his soups. He doesn't detail it for this one, but I think it makes a really nice addition. Instead of the croutons, you could make a single crouton with a slice of the bread, in the same way, and float it on the soup, with the egg sitting on top!
Keyword lunch, Soup