Green bean and cilantro soup helps to regulate blood-sugar levels: research has shown that bean pods contain a substance (arginine) that functions like insulin by balancing blood-sugar levels in the body, although it’s weaker and acts more slowly over a long period of time. Bean pods are also confirmed to have a diuretic affect.
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced,
- 2 tbsp olive oil,
- 1 onion, finely chopped,
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and finely sliced,
- 21⁄4lb (1kg) green beans (preferably fresh), trimmed and sliced,
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped,
- 1 chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped,
- 1–2 tsp hot smoked paprika,
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste,
- 4 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped,
- 4 tbsp half-fat crème fraiche to serve (1 tbsp per serving).
Makes 4 servings
- Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, and sauté until soft. Add the carrots to the pan, mix, and continue to sauté for several minutes. Stir in the beans, cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and leave to sweat. Then stir in the chopped garlic, chili pepper, and the smoked paprika.
- If the vegetables aren’t giving off enough juices to prevent the bottom of the pan from burning, add a spoonful or two of water; however, the vegetables should cook in their own juices.
- When the beans are almost cooked (soft, but chewy), add the cooked potatoes to the frying pan and add just a little of the water in which the potatoes were cooked.
- Cook all the vegetables together for another few minutes so that they combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup in bowls decorated with fresh cilantro and a spoonful of crème fraiche.