Autumn makes me yearn for soups and homey smells. I’d been pining for roasted garlic and pine nuts for a while. After a brisk walk with a friend in the sunshine, which – OK, I admit – included a brisk stop at the lovely Blue Café by Töölönlahti which meant consuming a very satisfying cinnamon bun and a nice cup of coffee whilst battling a battalion of crafty little birds… By the time I got home, I was hungry again. And I knew just what to do!
Butter bean and roasted garlic soup (for 1-2 people)
- 265g butter beans (pre-cooked)
- 1 whole head of garlic, oven-roasted
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup of vegetable stock
- juice of half a lemon
- olive oil
- black pepper
- herbes de provence (or whatever dried herbs you like, thyme or rosemary should work nicely here)
garnish: roasted pine nuts and Parmesan slivers
Start with the garlic-roasting. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Peel the papery bits off the head of garlic but keep the bulb intact. Slice the top off (keeping the other end that actually hold the head together). Place the garlic on tinfoil and pour a bit of olive oil (1-2 tsp) into the garlic. Wrap the tinfoil around the head and pop in the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes. The browner it goes, the more caramelised the taste is.
I got my instructions here:
Once the garlic is roasted, start the soup base. Dice the onion and sauté in some olive oil until soft. Add the butter beans and vegetable stock, season with black pepper, salt and dried herbs. Pop (or dig) the soft, roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and drop in with the soup. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice in. Leave to simmer.
Then get your garnishes ready: Roast your pine nuts lightly on a dry, hot pan. Watch you don’t burn them. Slice thin slivers of parmesan, whichever way you can and with whatever suitable instrument you have. I wish my parmesan slivers had been a bit thinner. But hey.
Purée the soup and taste to see if it needs more salt, or lemon juice and water to make it thinner. When happy with the consistency, pour into a bowl and garnish with parmesan and pine nuts. Enjoy. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best.