Butter bean and kale winter soup with cheese toasties

My how times have changed. When we first started this blog we had to write a post longhand on a sheet of A4 and send it in a stamped-addressed envelope to our ISP. He would in turn fax a carbon copy up to internet where a conveyor belt would take it to the code processing plant to be forged into massive cast iron HTML monoliths – some h1 tags could be up to 10 foot tall and weigh nigh on 70 tons. Once annealed, polished and elaborately engraved they were taken by locomotive to the website there to be hoisted by steam crane onto their respective concrete foundations. A speech, the smash of a Champagne bottle, an uproarious ‘Huzzah’ from the crowd, and the new web page was launched.

These days we simply think a post to the inboard computer of our hover-car and before you can say ‘protein pill’ it’s published on every web page in the universe.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2
Skill level: easy


  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • kale – 200g
  • 1 can peeled plum tomatoes – 400g
  • 1 can butter beans – drained – 400g
  • 2 cloves of garlic – very thinly sliced
  • 1 glass dry white wine (about 150ml)
  • vegetable stock – 600ml
  • fresh thyme leaves – 2 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • s and p
  • 4 thick baguette slices
  • Comté or mature cheddar – grated – 50g

Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until softened.

Add the kale and garlic and cook for a further two minutes.

Add the wine and thyme and simmer for another minute.

Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the beans. Taste, season and simmer for a couple minutes to heat the beans through. Leave on a low heat while you make the cheese toasts.

Put the baguette slices on a baking tray and toast under a hot grill. Turn over and top with the cheese. Return to the grill and toast until melted and bubbling.

Ladle the soup into bowls and float the cheese toasts on top.

Verdict: A hearty yet not too heavy winter soup with a great depth of flavour. Don’t for a moment consider not having the cheesy toasts – they are a necessary and scrumptious component.

Drink: Sloe gin and tonic is very much de rigueur here at yumblog.

Entertainment: Did I mention we had a rare night out to see an equally rare performance by Eccentronic Research Council? No? Well we did.

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