The perfect midweek meal.

"Oh the poor butter bean. Left at the back of the cupboard. Its fault? Too often a tendency to collapse when cooked but when used in a soup this flaw is harnessed to produce something really creamy and almost delicate. Try to buy small parsnips which are inherently sweeter." – Hugo Arnold

Yield: Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g/14oz parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1cm dice
  • 300g/11oz potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm dice
  • 400g/14oz tin butter beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 750ml/2lbs homemade chicken / vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 100ml/4oz milk
  • 100ml/4oz cream
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper


  1. Melt the butter in a medium heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and sauté the onions and garlic until softened and translucent.
  2. Add the parsnips and potatoes and stir well to coat in the butter, and cook for 4-5minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking.
  3. Add the butter beans, stock, bay leaves, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir together and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
  4. Add in the milk and cream and remove the bay leaves. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and check for seasoning.
  5. Take off the heat and put in a soup blender and blitz until smooth. Serve in warmed bowls.