Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast: Your five a day in a delicious bowl

Saturday: Broad beans, flageolets, courgettes. Spring soup. A bean feast

A bit of shopping may be required for today's recipe, the last in our Nigel Slater series. But with farmers' markets now brimming over with new-season produce, it is the perfect time to fill your basket with healthy summer greens to make this vibrant bowl of goodness.

To turn it into a complete meal, grill some slices of good bread – ciabatta is an excellent choice – on a griddle pan and top them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt. Serve alongside a big bowl of the soup. – Marie-Claire Digby

A note on the recipes
Though all are plant based, the six recipes from Greenfeast that are appearing on irishtimes.com this week – one each day, from Monday to Saturday – are not strictly vegan. They can, however, be rendered suitable for vegan diets with a bit of informed tweaking.

NIGEL SLATER’S BROAD BEANS, FLAGEOLETS, COURGETTES

Spring soup. A bean feast
Serves four

Ingredients
400g broad beans in the pod
200g baby leeks
200g spring onions
Olive oil
200g small courgettes
1 400g tin flageolet beans
200g peas (fresh or frozen), podded weight
1ltr vegetable stock
20g chives
Handful of parsley
Grated Parmesan, to serve

Method
1
Pod the broad beans, boil them in lightly salted water, then drain and cool under cold running water. Unless they are really young and small, at this point I like to pop them out of their pale skins.

2 Thickly slice the leeks. (I like to do them diagonally.) Thinly slice the spring onions. Cook the leeks and onions in a saucepan, in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, covered with a piece of greaseproof paper or baking parchment. This will encourage them to steam and soften rather than fry. You want them to be tender, but they shouldn't brown.

3 Cut the courgettes into short lengths. When the leeks and spring onions are soft and still bright green, remove the greaseproof paper, add the courgettes, the flageolet beans, drained and rinsed, the peas and then the stock. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, then add the chives, chopped into short lengths. Roughly chop the parsley and stir into the soup. Season and pass around a dish of grated Parmesan.

Greenfeast: Spring, Summer, by Nigel Slater, is published by 4th Estate Books

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