AT A GLANCE
If you prefer a more coarsely textured soup, process only half the bean mixture. It's a good idea to stir through some chopped parsley before serving. You can also substitute the lard with a good-quality olive oil. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
|01||Heat lard in a large saucepan over medium heat, add leek, onion and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add beans and stock, bring to the boil, then cook over low-medium heat until beans are very tender (45 minutes-1 hour; add more stock if beans become too dry).|
|02||Meanwhile, for croûtons, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add ciabatta and stir frequently until golden and crisp (2-4 minutes), then set aside on absorbent paper to drain.|
|03||Transfer bean mixture to a food processor and process, in batches, with cream until smooth (alternatively, you can use a hand-held blender). Season to taste and serve hot, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with croûtons.|