Meat-Free Monday: Soup

Can­nel­lini, Leek, Basil and Lemon Soup



A nice, quick soup for a meat-free Monday. I love the com­bin­a­tion of the creamy can­nel­lini beans with the zesty lemon and the sweet basil.


I have always thought that leek and potato soup was a great com­bin­a­tion of fla­vours, how­ever I have never enjoyed pota­toes in soup. I detest the sandy, crumbly thing that hap­pens to a potato once added to a soup. Even if you blitz the soup, the sand remains, the won­der­ful soup that should be silky and smooth is a bowl of wet sand – to me any­way . Which brings me to my soup, I add can­nel­lini beans instead of pota­toes (and a bit of lemon and basil). I know a lot of you are think­ing that beans are quite sandy too, but for some reason the sandi­ness of beans do not bother me, it seems to be a smoother sand, a less offens­ive one.


Any­who, I don’t like pota­toes in soup but I love beans in soup – hence my re-invention of the potato and leek soup. Serve this soup with crusty bread and a nice cold glass of white wine.



Can­nel­lini, Leek, Basil and Lemon Soup


3 large leeks

1 table­spoon of olive oil

2 table­spoons of butter

2 cloves of gar­lic, crushed

1 tea­spoon of dried basil

1 tin of can­nel­lini beans

250ml of cream

2 cups of chicken or veget­able stock

juice of one lemon

zest of one lemon

salt and pep­per, to taste

1/2 tea­spoon of cornstarch

2 table­spoons of grated Parmesan

hand­ful of basil, torn



Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut the leeks in half length­wise and then thinly slice into half moons. Add the sliced leeks to the bowl of water, swoosh it around a little and then let them sit; the grit and dirt will fall to the bot­tom of the bowl.


In a large sauce­pan, heat the but­ter and olive oil. Pull the sliced leeks from the water with your hands, try­ing not to dis­turb the water too much so that the grit and dirt stays put on the bot­tom of the bowl. Trans­fer the sliced leeks to a kit­chen towel to drain off some of the water then add them to the heated but­ter and olive oil. Add the gar­lic, dried basil and salt and pep­per to taste. Sweat gently for 10–15 minutes till the leeks are soft and sweet. Add the beans, cream, stock, lemon juice and lemon zest. Sea­son, if needed. Cook on high for 2–3 minutes.


Reduce the heat to a sim­mer. Dis­solve the corn­starch in a bit of hot water and add to the soup. Add the Parmesan and sim­mer gently for 3–5 minutes. With a fork or potato masher, mash about 40% of the beans in the soup, leave the rest whole. Remove from heat and add the torn basil.



  1. Ooooh! That sounds so divine! I have to try this.
    So I use the actual lemon rind and not just the lemon zest?


    Kristy Reply:

    Thanks Kyls, the soup also makes a great sauce for pasta. Did I say lemon rind? Cause I meant lemon zest. I’ll go have a look and amend it. Thanks for let­ting me know :-)


    Comment by Kyly on November 7, 2011 at 7:56 am

  2. Wow Kristy, the soup sounds really deli­cious and I looooove your styl­ing and pics!


    Kristy Reply:

    Thanks Pink­PolkaDot, it is rather a deli­cious soup :-) and thanks for the lovely com­pli­ment about my styl­ing and pics :-)


    Comment by PinkPolkaDot on November 9, 2011 at 5:19 am

  3. Abso­lutely delicious! :D


    Comment by Clarien on November 18, 2011 at 3:06 am

  4. Ooh! Just made this soup. Really del­ish! Jay even liked it and he usu­ally only likes soups that com­prise mostly of broth ;)


    Comment by Kyly on December 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

  5. Oh wow, the com­bin­a­tion sounds amaz­ing! So fresh. Just came across your blog and I have to say, you are so tal­en­ted! Love your pics!


    Comment by Robyn on January 20, 2012 at 3:35 am