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Green beans (string beans) are wonderfully nutritous and inexpensive veggies in season. Buy the freshest beans you can find. The other veg ingredients work together to create a healthy vegetable stock base without straining out the essential fibre and flavour. A kitchen essential is a hand blender, just pop it into the pot and pulse until you have the perfect texture. (A blender works too, but entails extra effort transferring the soup in and out of the pot.) Milk adds calcium, protein and creaminess to this perfect all-natural low-effort vegetarian soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or other vegetable oil such as sunflower
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 medium onion, roughly but quite finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, with leaves, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
- 500 g green beans, fresh and well-washed
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 liter boiling water
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 cups milk
- Heat the oil and masala and onion in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot over medium heat, and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes.
- Add celery, carrot and garlic, stirring for another 8 minutes or so.
- Add green beans, topped-and-tailed and roughly chopped into approximately 2cm or 1 inch pieces, diced potatoes, boiling water, white pepper, salt and coriander; half-cover with a lid and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon now and then.
- With a hand blender puree the soup, using a pulsing action, until you have an almost smooth soup. The potato will have thickened the bean soup by now; and the soup will be green and slightly textured.
- Add milk, using less or more milk to create the consistency you want, and simmer on low heat for another few minutes.