Spring soup recipe

Lovely Spring herb and yoghurt soup (by Anna Jones’ – Guardian)

Just about the perfect bowlful for this space between winter and spring. You can use any soft herbs here – just make sure you balance a more neutral herb, such as parsley, with a stronger one such as tarragon (the stronger the flavour the less of that herb you will need). You need quite a gentle stock for this: if you are using cubes or powder then ½ a cube or 1 tsp of powder will be plenty in 1 litre of water.

Serves 4
Olive oil, for frying
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ small bunch of dill, fronds and stalks separated
½ small bunch of tarragon, leaves and stalks separated
1 bunch coriander, leaves and stalks separated
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stalks separated
400g tin butter beans, drained
1 litre vegetable stock (see note above)
4 tbsp plain yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper
Sumac, to serve

1 Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and spices, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the pan smells aromatic.

2 Roughly chop the herb stalks, then add them to the pan along with the butterbeans and the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until the stalks have softened.

3 Allow to cool a little, then whizz with a stick blender in the pan until you have a smooth soup. Add the yoghurt, most of the herb leaves (reserving a few for the top of the soup) and whizz again, until smooth.

4 Add the lemon juice and taste, adjusting the seasoning with more salt or pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a sprinkling of sumac and a few herb leaves.