Ham and bean soup with parsley pistou

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Ham and bean soup with parsley pistou

Serves 4


For the pistou:

Small bunch of fresh parsley

1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

1 garlic clove, peeled

1⁄2 tsp salt

1⁄2 tsp lemon zest

150ml olive oil

1 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated


For the soup:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

Salt and black pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed

350-500g cooked ham, shredded

1.5L chicken stock

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 bay leaf

Rind from 1 block of Parmesan (optional)

2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


  1. For the pistou, combine the parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, lemon zest and oil in a blender or food processor and whizz until combined but still a little chunky. Stir in the Parmesan. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. For the soup, heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the ham and cook for two minutes, then pour in the stock. Add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf and Parmesan rind, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4.  Stir in the beans and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rind, then season to taste.
  5. Ladle into serving bowls and top each portion with a generous swirl of the pistou. Serve with chunks of baguette.

Per serving: 474kcals, 33.1g fat (6.9g saturated), 23.4g carbs (4g sugars), 25.1g protein, 6.5g fibre, 3.002g sodium


Top tip: If you have a ham bone left over, you can use it to make a homemade stock for this soup. Place the bone in a pot and add enough water to come around halfway up the bone. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 1-11⁄2 hours until aromatic. Discard the bone and replace the chicken stock in this recipe with the homemade stock.