Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hugh's White Bean and Leek Soup with Chile Oil for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

We are cooking with a new chef over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, the British icon Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I have cooked with Hugh before and I am looking forward to focusing on him for the next few months. I check out two of his books from the library; River Cottage Veg and River Cottage Everyday, to test drive and see which one I would buy. Being a lover of leeks and of bean soups, 

I decided to make his Cannellini Bean and Leek Soup with Chile Oil from River Cottage Veg as my dish to welcome Hugh to IHCC. I had lots of cans of White Northern Beans in my pantry to use up so I subbed them in for the cannellini beans called for in the recipe. 

Hugh says, "The chile oil gives this soup a deliciously piquant finish. Once made, the oil will keep, sealed in an airtight container in the fridge, for a couple of weeks, and you can use it to add a bit of heat to marinades and salad dressings or to trickle over pizzas. However, if you don't have time to make it, you can simply trickle a little extra virgin olive oil over the soup and finish with some shavings of Parmesan, pecorino or hard goat's cheese."

White Bean and Leek Soup with Chile Oil 
From River Cottage Veg and via
(Serves 4-6)

4 medium leeks, trimmed (white and pale green part only)
1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp  butter
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
2 (14 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I used White Northern Beans) 

handful of oregano, roughly chopped
bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chile Oil:
4 red chiles, deseeded and sliced
3/4 cup olive oil

a few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 garlic clove (unpeeled), bashed (I used 3 cloves)

First, make the chile oil. Put the chillies in a small saucepan with the olive oil, thyme leaves and unpeeled garlic clove. Heat slowly until the oil is simmering very, very gently and cook the chillies until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

For the soup, halve the leeks lengthways, wash well and slice thinly. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the leeks, with the thyme and bay leaf, and sweat gently, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes, until very soft. Add the garlic and stir for a minute.

Add the stock and cannellini beans, the oregano and half the parsley. Season with salt and plenty of pepper, increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary and stir in the rest of the parsley. Serve in warmed bowls with a trickle of chile oil over the top.

Notes/Results: This is a great soup--simple and good as it is with the beans, leeks and herbs. Add the chile oil and it gets every better--more complex and with just a slight touch of heat at the finish. I like this chile oil because it has more than one note to the flavor with the thyme and garlic (I used extra garlic). Mine wasn't quite as dark as the one pictured but the flavor was great. If you omit the butter in the beginning, this is a vegan soup and very satisfying with the beans. I will happily make it again.

You can see how everyone welcomed Hugh to I Heart Cooking Clubs this week by checking out the picture links on the post

We have some good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some delicious dishes last week--let's have a look!

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared this salad from Mary Berry's cookbook and said, "I very much enjoyed looking through this book and found many recipes I would prepare. Since we are getting into warmer weather here I chose a simple Tomato, Mozzarella and Avocado Salad. It was wonderful, absolutely bursting with flavor as well as pretty to gaze upon. There are many more recipes from this book I want to try so they will be popping up now and again.

Claudia of Honey From Rock made a Roast Duck Sandwich inspired by a novelette and said, "He does rave on (rhapsodize) about roast duck at one point, which is an absolute favorite of mine; thus I will share here a truly stunning little gourmet sandwich, composed of Roast Duck Breast with Pineapple Chutney, onion confit and arugula, on slices of my rustic, fresh-baked bread.  How's that for rhapsodizing?"

Debra of Eliot's Eats made a and said, "This is a hearty salad and we easily had four meals. Remember to season the dressing well.   I always toss my quinoa with the dressing while it’s still warm.  I think it absorbs a bit more flavor that way.  Be sure to taste and re-season with salt and pepper as needed."

Kim of Stirring the Pot made Hugh's Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad and said, "Who wouldn't enjoy something with all that color and texture? Of course it helped that I had all the ingredients on hand and I also knew the dish would keep extremely well. ... This is the type of thing that is even better the next day and is therefore great for packing up in mason jars and taking on the go. I plan on throwing it in my bag to enjoy for lunch throughout the week."

Finally, here at Kahakai Kitchen, I made a Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich for a recent book review. If you love guacamole and grilled cheese separately, I strongly suggest you try them together. It's especially good with sharp and spicy cheeses to contrast with all the creaminess. Really yummy! 

Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Your soup looks wonderful - so simple yet so tasty (especially with extra garlic in the chile oil!)

  2. Soup looks very comforting perfect for a rainy day


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