Simple Bean Soup from El Bulli

Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 45 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr
This Bean Soup comes to you from El Bulli restaurant, famed in its time for topping the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, year after year. But fear not! This is not a complex Michelin star dish. It’s a simple bean soup from the El Bulli staff cookbook, “The Family Meal”.


0/14 Ingredients
    Bean soup
  • Picada recipe


0/9 Instructions
  • Saute onion and herbs 8 minutes: Heat oil in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, herbs and cook, stirring regularly, for 8 minutes until the onions are a deep golden brown and sweet.
  • Cook tomato passata 8 minutes: Add tomato passata and cook over low heat for another 8 minutes until the tomato changes from red and watery to dark brown a d very thick. Don't skimp on this step, it's key for flavour!
  • Simmer: Stir in the beans followed by the vegetable stock. Adjust heat so it's bubbling very gently and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid off.
  • Blitz: Transfer 2/3 cup (150ml) of soup into a jug or jar large enough to fit the head of a blender stick. Blitz until smooth then stir it back into the soup to thicken the broth.
  • Stir in Picada: Just before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons of Picada. Taste and add more salt if needed (canned beans differ in salt). Then serve immediately.
  • Serve: Dollop each bowl with 1 teaspoon of remaining Picada. Crusty bread highly recommended (easy Artisan, no yeast bread or French brioche).
  • Picada
  • Toast hazelnuts: Preheat a small skillet over medium heat. Add hazelnuts and toast, shaking the skillet regularly, until there are golden patches and they smell nutty.
  • Remove most skin: Transfer hazelnuts to a clean tea towel. Bundle up and rub vigorously with hands to remove most of the skin (which is bitter). (No need to do this with almonds)
  • Blitz: Roughly chop hazelnuts then add into a jug just large enough to fit the head of a stick blender with remaining ingredients. Blitz until it's like pesto – not completely smooth. Use per recipe.



Watch the recipe video here: