If it is beans in a soup you are after, this is it. There are a LOT of beans in this soup. In fact, there is not much soup, mainly just beans but it is TASTY. All the veggies cook down into a delicious green mulch which is really flavoursome. Sometimes it’s good to have a soup that doesn’t have loads of herbs and seasonings masking the taste of the veggies and this one is just that kind of soup.

I made this after two days of faceache.

I self-diagnosed neuralgia but eventually, my work colleague Anne persuaded me to go to the Doctor. In the Doc’s surgery after my preamble to her about why I thought I had neuralgia she looked in my mouth and shrieked, “You have SERIOUS gum disease!” Then after a short pause, “SERIOUS gum disease!” It made me laugh. So I am currently on a complicated regime of antibiotics and painkillers. Also, a dentist visit is booked.

So anyhow, I wanted something soothing and restorative for my poor old gums. This lovely soup fitted the bill. But if I made it again (and I think I will) I would definitely use fewer beans and more stock.

I have quite a lot of the soup left and I might add some sausages and a bit of wine to make a nice bean and sausage casserole. Stick in a duck leg and it would almost be cassoulet!

This recipe is destined for the Murder, She Cooked book as Raphael was in two episodes.

I made half the recipe as there is NO WAY I would have had a pan big enough to make the whole amount. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper was about right for me for 1/2 the recipe.

Oh, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough liquid for the beans to cook, but I simmered with the lid on and it was fine, my beans took about 2 and 1/2 hours to cook but cooking time for beans does vary.

Stop press! I added a whole bag of spinach, some pasta sauce that needed using up, some Worcestershire sauce and some cooked up posh sausages from my local deli to the leftover beans and the result was utterly delicious. STILL super beany though!

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