broad bean, yogurt & mint soup

this is not the sort of recipe i’d normally be sharing in the middle of autumn but because i made it with frozen broad beans it’s the sort of thing you can make all year round.

the reason for making it was a bag of frozen broad beans which had been double-podded (the inner white skin round each bean was also removed, leaving behind the bright green bean) and were originally intended for this ottolenghi meatballs with broad beans and lemon recipe. however, once the beans had been defrosted i realised that they were soft and mushy and really not a very nice texture. however they still tasted good, so soup was the obvious option.

this is a very simple recipe, but a clever one in that as it relies on a handful of rice being added to the soup to add a bit of bulk and create a silky texture, rather than potato which would have diluted the bean flavour. mint and yoghurt are obvious flavours to pair with broad beans; i added some lemon zest as well, something else that combines well with the rest of the soup ingredients.

sophie grigson’s broad bean, yogurt & mint soup (serves 4)

1 onion, chopped

1 stick of celery, thinly sliced (abby note: i didn’t have any so missed this out)

25g butter

2 tablespoon risotto or pudding rice

1 generous sprig of summer savory or thyme

350g shelled broad beans (about 1.3kg/3lb before podding) (abby note: i used frozen, double-podded beans)

1l chicken or vegetable stock, plus about 100ml more if needed

100g shelled peas (about 350g/12oz before podding) (abby note: i just added extra broad beans)

to serve:

7 tablespoons greek yogurt yoghurt, plus extra

7 tablespoons fresh chopped mint leaves

fry the onion and celery gently in the butter in a covered saucepan over a low heat for about 10 minutes until very tender. tip in the rice, add the savory or thyme and cook for another minute, uncovered. now add the broad beans, pour in 1 litre/13⁄4 pints stock and season with salt and pepper. bring to the boil, simmer for about 5 minutes, then tip in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes, by which time the rice will be tender.

remove the herb sprig and purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, then return to the rinsed-out pan. (if you’ve got a hand blender, use it in the pan.)

shortly before serving, reheat the soup thoroughly and add more stock if the consistency is too thick for your liking. take the pan off the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the yogurt and the chopped mint (plus the zest of a lemon, if you’d like to add that as well). continue to stir in the yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it’s all incorporated. taste for seasoning, then serve in warmed bowls with an extra spoonful of yogurt stirred into each and a grinding of black pepper on top.