This soup was a café sensation. Even in summer, when the Cape sun is at its fiercest, bowls would be licked clean. We stumbled upon the recipe in Breakfast Lunch Tea, the first cookbook by Rose Carrarini. Like the pair of us, she is South African born and not a trained chef. We are similar too in our love for simple, natural food and her understated aesthetic was our template when building Skinny Legs & All. We fell in love with her stoneware ceramics and were determined to use crockery of an identical glaze (we very nearly drove our potter mad!) Rose’s recipes never falter and we have worked our way steadily through this gem of a cookbook.
We think it the nuttiness of the almonds, which makes this soup so moreish. With two minor tweaks – yellow wax beans for their meaty taste and a little less carrot, which we found too sweet – this sell-out soup both nourishes and warms. With the first of the winter rains, we lit up our fireplace and curled up with two steaming bowls.
Be sure to use an additive-free vegetable stock. A.Vogel bouillon powder, found in most wholefood stores, is our first choice.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 sticks celery, dice
1 large carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of black pepper
250g green beans
250g yellow wax beans
1 litre vegetable stock, additive free
100g cup ground almonds
topping ideas: rocket, toasted almonds
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften and begin to turn golden. Add the salt, pepper and beans and stir well for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer for half an hour until the vegetables are soft. Add the ground almonds, give another good stir, and take the soup off the heat to cool slightly. Puree using a hand blender until smooth (you can always add a little more stock if the soup is too thick).
Our version of Rose Bakery’s green bean and almond soup