Indy Power: Lemony Butter Bean and Rice Soup
This is heavenly. It's simple, fool-proof and somehow both light and seriously satisfying. It's perfect for when you need instant comfort with minimal effort.
Lemony Butter Bean & Rice Soup
Gluten-free (if using GF stock), dairy-free & vegan
1 white onion
2 celery stalks
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 x 400g tin butter beans
1 tbsp olive oil
90g brown rice
1.25l vegetable stock
Juice 1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper
1. Dice the onion and celery and mince the garlic. Pinch the rosemary leaves from the stalk and finely chop them. Drain and rinse the beans.
2. Add the olive oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until softening.
3. Add the garlic and rosemary, toss and cook for about a minute.
4. Add the rice and the beans and season well with salt and pepper.
5. Pour in the stock and the juice of 1 big lemon. Bring it up to a rolling simmer. Pop the lid on and let it simmer for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender and the soup has thickened.
6. Add the kale to the pot and cook until wilted.
7. Season well with salt and pepper before serving.
Rice 'n' easy!
There's something about rice that's just so comforting. As a kid I used to eat bowls of plain sushi rice drizzled with soy sauce, and it's still something I love. That's where one of my favourite kitchen gadgets comes in - a rice cooker. They're so handy, you just throw in the rice and water and press a button and you get perfect rice every time. I'm not quite sure how it works, it somehow knows how to give you gorgeously fluffy basmati and perfectly sticky sushi rice with only one setting. The best part is the 'keep warm' button that automatically flicks on when the rice is ready so that you can make it in advance and still have it hot and ready to eat. I bought mine online. They're really reasonable (€30-€50) and you'll never look back.
Butter beans are one of my favourite things right now - they have such a moreish texture and a, well, buttery taste, and they're just so good at soaking up flavour. As someone who eats a plant-based diet, beans and legumes are a go-to but they're all really different so it's important to mix it up and find ones you love. In terms of taste and nutrition, butter beans seem to be a crowd-pleaser. They're high in protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre as well as being a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium. I always have a few tins in the back of the cupboard for last-minute meals, and a jar full of dried ones for when I have more cooking time.