This year I grew borlotti beans instead of runner beans and they have been magnificient! So pretty, abundant and trouble free. Although they can be boiled and eaten with anything, I have been making a tasty and nourishing soup. As with all soups you can make it up as you go along but this is the recipe that I’ve developed.

Bean soup (serves 6)

1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped or crushed
1 chilli chopped (optional)
2 tbs olive oil
4oz (100g) lardons
1.8 pints (1litre) stock
8oz (200g) borlotti beans
4oz (100g) flagelot beans (or green lentils)
4oz (100g) red lentils

Soak beans overnight. Heat the oil in a large pan and sweat the onions, garlic and chilli in the covered pan for about 5 minutes. Add the lardons and fry until golden. Add the stock, bring to the boil and add the beans and lentils. Simmer gently, covered, for 40 minutes. Season to taste.