Cannellini Soup

Bean soup tends to have a fairly bland taste. By topping it with tomatoes roasted in garlic and chilli, both the flavour and colour are enhanced. This topping would also be good for any lentil-based soup.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 20 minutes + 35 minutes cooking

Plus: Freezing: recommended for soup but not dressing


For the soup:

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks Celery, sliced
  • 2 x 410g cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 600ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt
  • freshly ground Black Pepper

For the cherry tomato dressing:

  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 clove Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 red Chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinega
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Parsley


  1. Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan, add the onion and celery, stir to coat, cover and sweat for 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
  2. Add the drained beans, chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf and liquidise the soup to a smooth purée. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  4. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C
  5. Snip the tomato stalks so that there are three tomatoes on each piece.
  6. Place in a small roasting tin. Add the garlic and chilli and toss everything in the oil to coat.
  7. Season well with salt and pepper.
  8. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, taking care to brown but not burn the garlic.
  9. Remove from the oven and stir in the balsamic vinegar and chopped parsley.
  10. Re-heat the soup gently and ladle into warmed bowls. Spoon the roasted tomatoes over each and drizzle with any remaining juices.

This recipe is from Soups for all Seasons by Liz Herbert and published by Simon & Schuster 2008 priced £14.99 ISBN 978-1-84737-178-2 and available at all good book sellers

For a complete list of all WI books please send a sae to WIE, NFWI 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY