• TO DRINK: De Grendel Pinot Gris 2009, with crisp acidity that perfectly matches the buttery beans.

    Four-bean winter comfort soup with cheesy onion croutons

    Serves: 8 – 10
    Cooking Time: 4 hours plus overnight for soaking


    • 200g dried cannellini beans
    • 200g dried butter beans
    • 225g dried red kidney beans
    • 225g dried black-eyed beans
    • 2 litres water
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) salt
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 2 leeks, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 5ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
    • 1 x 410g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
    • 500ml (2 cups) bacon, diced
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 60ml (¼ cup) Gruyère, freshly grated
    • 1 baguette, cubed and toasted



    Rinse the beans and place in a large pot. Cover the beans with salted water and leave to soak overnight.


    Next day, drain the beans, rinse, add the water and salt and simmer on low heat for 2 – 3 hours.


    In a frying pan, lightly brown half the onion with the leeks, garlic, chilli, tomatoes, lemon juice and bacon for a few minutes. Add to to the beans and simmer for 45 minutes. Season.


    For the croutons, fry the onions in a hot pan until brown and crispy. Place the fried onions and Gruyère on top of the crispy toast cubes.


    Serve the soup in bowls, topped with the hot crispy croutons.