Meera Sodha’s Vegan Summer Beans Recipe with Basil Aïoli | Vegan food and drink

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OOnce upon a time there was a fish soup with plenty of aioli, and that was a great day. It was less about how good the soup or aioli was and more about the pleasure of stirring a little (or all) of something rich, strong, and creamy into the warm, light soup. The more I stirred, the more decadent the soup became. I think both veggies and beans take creaminess well, so I’ve used it here in this light summer stew as a way to recreate a similar experience for you.

Summer beans with basil aïoli

You will need a blender or hand blender to make the aioli.

preparation 10 mins
Cook 40 minutes
serves 2

200 g silken tofu (dropped weight)
5 cloves of garlicpeeled, 3 chopped
1¼ tsp fine sea salt
1½ tbsp lemon juice
20 g picked basil leaves
plus extra to serve
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oilplus extra to serve
6 sticks of celery (400g net), finely chopped
1 large red onionpeeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
200 grams of green beans
halved
150 ml white wine
1 x 400g can of cannellini beans
drained

In a blender (or with an immersion blender), blend the tofu, 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, basil leaves, and 3 tablespoons oil, then transfer to a serving bowl.

In a medium-to-large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and, when hot, add the celery and onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until reduced and caramelized, 20 minutes. Add the three cloves of minced garlic, cook, stirring, for two minutes, then stir in the tomato puree, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the green beans. Add the wine and let it evaporate for about six minutes. Add the cannellini beans and 600ml just boiled water, simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the cannellini are tender, then remove from the heat.

Divide the beans between two bowls and garnish each with a dollop of basil aïoli, plenty of olive oil and a few basil leaves.

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