This is a chunky soup with a subtle barbeque flavour, which makes great use of those cans of sweetcorn and borlotti beans you’ve had lying around for a while and weren’t quite sure what to do with. I’ve used gram flour to thicken it, which keeps the recipe gluten-free, but you can substitute this for any flour you have lying around. If you want to use fresh or frozen sweetcorn instead of canned, then that’s fine too. You can get BBQ seasoning from the spice section of any supermarket.
You can make this soup a day or two before you want to eat it, or you can even divide it into individual portions and freeze it for another time. The recipe serves 4-6 people, but even if you’re cooking for one, I would still make the full batch and freeze it.
Sweet Potato, Sweetcorn and Borlotti Bean Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: about 1 hour.
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dices
3 cloves garlic, chopped (you can also use 2 tsp pre-chopped from a jar)
2 heaped tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
1.5 litres strong, hot vegetable stock (make sure it’s vegan)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 400g can borlotti beans, still in water
1 340g can sweetcorn, still in water (you can use 240g frozen or fresh)
100g (half a tube) tomato puree
3 tsp BBQ seasoning
3 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
50g BBQ sauce (smoky is good)
2 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced onions and gently cook for about 4 minutes, until they start to soften. Now add diced sweet potato and cook for another 6 minutes or so, stirring often. Throw in the chopped garlic and give it another minute, then stir in the gram flour (or whatever flour you’re using), until it is fully incorporated.
Once the flour is combined, start adding the veg stock a little at a time. Stir constantly when pouring to prevent lumps forming in the flour. Make sure the flour and stock mixture is smooth before adding more liquid. Once you get past about ½ a litre and you have a smooth mix, you can start pouring more quickly.
Bring the stock to the boil and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring back up to temperature and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for about 40 minutes, until you have a thick and rich soup. At this point you can either leave it all chunky, or blend some of it. What I did was put an emersion blender in the soup for a few seconds so just blend part of it. If you have a jug blender, you can take out about one third of the soup, blend that and then pour it back in the pan.
Either serve straight away with a dash of cream and some chopped coriander, or chill or freeze for later as described in the introduction.