Italian white bean soup with polenta croutons
Packed with fresh rosemary, cannellini beans and polenta, this wonderfully warming soup is crammed with flavour and takes just 25 minutes to make. With a splash of lemon and shavings of vegetarian hard cheese (or Parmesan), it's the perfect dish for refuelling the family on cold winter nights.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then stir through the beans, stock and rosemary.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove half the mixture and whizz with a stick blender to a purée. Stir it back into the soup. Add the lemon zest and juice, then season to taste.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Add the polenta cubes and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning until golden and crisp on all sides. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the polenta croutons, extra rosemary and cheese shavings.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Make the soup, then leave to cool at room temperature. Freeze (without garnishes or toppings) in a rigid container, leaving a bit of space for expansion, for up to 1-3 months. Reheat either from frozen or defrost in the fridge overnight. Once piping hot, add toppings or garnishes and serve.
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