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A traditional soup, it can be made very basic and varied by additional ingredients. It is very filling and is often eaten here as a main dish with bread. The brown beans we use are also known as Swedish brown beans. If you cannot get these then the best substitute for this soup would be Pinto beans. I always serve this with dark fried onions and crispy bacon cubes. Soaking time not included.
- Put the beans in a pan with the water and bay leaf, bring to the boil.
- Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Then add the leeks, carrot, potato, Worcestershire and salt and pepper, simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Taste the soup or you want to add a stock cube.
- You can puree the soup at this point, but it is nicest when you just mash the beans and potatoes a bit so it thickens.
- Add the celery leaves 5 minutes before serving.
- Other additions/fillings for the soup: left-over cooked beef or pork, tiny meatballs, slices of smoked sausage, hot sauce, ketchup.
- Fried onions and bacon for serving.
Good recipe. I did my soup in a pressure cooker, cooking the beans first for 20 minute, letting pressure die down and then proceeding with the recipe. I took Pets' advice and mashed the beans lightly (with a potato masher) to leave the soup chunky. It was very good. I didn't do any of the toppings, but think some smoked sausage would be lovely actually cooked with the soup.