That’s the thing about cream. It makes things creamy. But when you’re looking to cut down on dairy for the sake of your skin and digestion, what do you turn to? My answer is butter beans. A whole carton went into making this soup, which gave it this silky, delicious texture. I used basil stalks leftover from pesto making to flavour the soup, as well as plenty of freshly ground black pepper. I’ve managed to cut down my dairy to milk in my tea on weekends, yogurt on occasion and cheese pizza once in a blue moon. When the alternatives are this tasty, I can’t say I’m missing it.
Mushroom and Basil Soup
Drain and rinse a carton of butter beans and add them to a large saucepan. Saute a whole punnet of chestnut mushrooms in batches until brown all over. I cooked mine in rapeseed oil, but use whatever flavourless oil you have to hand. Add the cooked shrooms to the saucepan.
(Save a few butter beans and a mushroom or two if you like your soups with a topping).
Sautee two peeled, roughly chopped garlic cloves in the pan and add that to the mix. Add your basil stalks, or 1tsp dried basil, to the pot. Pour over 600ml vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for twenty minutes.
Blitz in batches, then return to a clean saucepan to heat through and season. I urge you to be generous with the black pepper, it really makes it sing. Serve, topped with reserved mushrooms and beans, along with some mixed chopped nuts and that last flourish of black pepper.