Broad bean, yoghurt and mint soup
This soup turns out the most cool, pale green, so pretty when it is flecked with darker green mint and bright green, skinned beans. Don't reheat the soup once you have mixed in the yoghurt. If it gets too hot it will curdle in a most unattractive manner.
- 450g/1lb shelled broad beans, thawed if frozen, blanched and skins removed
- 30g/1oz butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 stick celery, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp pudding rice
- 1 generous sprig fresh summer savory or thyme
- 1 litre/1¾ pints hot chicken stock or vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 115ml/4fl oz Greek-style yoghurt
- handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
Take about one-eighth of the blanched broad beans, chop roughly and set aside.
Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed, lidded pan. Add the onion and celery, cover and sweat over a low heat for about ten minutes, or until very tender.
Add the rice and summer savory or thyme and cook for another minute, uncovered.
Add the broad beans, except for the reserved chopped ones, and the stock. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, bring up to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the rice is tender. Remove the savory or thyme stem, then allow to cool slightly.
Pour the soup into a food processor in batches and blend until smooth.
Shortly before serving, reheat the soup thoroughly, then take off the heat.
Add a tablespoon of the yoghurt, together with the reserved beans and the chopped mint and stir well. Mix in a second tablespoon of yoghurt and continue stirring in, a spoonful at a time, until all the yoghurt is incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, pour the soup into bowls and top with a sprig of mint and a light dusting of paprika or cayenne pepper.