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Hearty leek and bean soup

Hearty leek and bean soup

I created this as a keep-you-fuller-for-longer version of classic leek soup.    I swapped the potatoes for white beans because potatoes are mostly just sugars whereas beans are full of nutrients and protein.  This is a fantastic winter warmer and a meal in inself.  If you feel like it, eat it with some wholemeal bread such as gluten-free or (if you can eat gluten) 100% rye bread.  Enjoy.

For 3
600g leeks, including all the green part
800ml chicken stock (or use 1 Kallo chicken stock cube and water)
1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced
About 425g of cooked, drained no-added sugar white beans
(eg. white haricots, canellini or butter beans) – use a tin if you can’t soak and cook your own beans.
Black pepper
1 dsp extra virgin olive oil and extra for drizzling
2 tbs fresh or frozen chopped parsley if you have it

1. Wash and slice the leeks and place in a large saucepan with the 1 dsp olive oil and 1 dsp of clean water.
2. Sweat, covered, until leeks are wilted and soft.
3. Add the stock, beans and simmer for a few minutes to warm through.
4. Liquidise the soup until smooth, with the chopped parsley if using.  If you want the soup a little coarse in texture use a stick blender, if you want it smoother use a liquidiser or food processor.  If you prefer a more rustic soup, don’t bother liquidising it at all.Add water if too thick, reaheat and serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice when serving gives an extra kick and helps digestion by raising stomach acidity (often low in those over 50 or who suffer from bloating after eating).

Why this is good for you:
Leeks and beans are both a rich source of soluble fibre which encourages friendly bacteria (“probiotics”) to flourish in your gut.  Probiotics help balance both male and female hormones, keep skin clear and healthy and promote a healthy, resilient digestive system. 

Soluble fibre also binds (sticks to) toxins such mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic in your gut.  If you have mercury fillings, eat tuna, non-organic rice or smoke, you can accumulate mercury, arsenic and cadmium in your body.  All toxins need to be quickly eliminated from the body in the stools.  Soluble fibre absorbs water, helping to bulk up stools in the colon, thus reducing the risk of constipation.  Constipation allows reabsorption of toxins from your bowel which can lead to a variety of health effects such as poor skin, anxiety, headaches, hair loss, hormonal imbalance and weight gain.  The protein in the beans and the extra virgin olive oil both help you feel fuller for longer after eating this hearty soup.