- 225 g / 8 oz / 1½ cups white beans; such as haricot
- cold water for soaking
- 2 litres / 3½ pints / 8¾ cups cold water for cooking
- 2 medium leeks
- 450 - 500 g / 16 - 18 oz mixture of cut up or cubed carrots, turnip, celery and onions
- 4 blanched and skinned tomatoes, chopped
- 5 cm / 2 inch green chilli, halved and deseeded
- 2 cloves of garlic (optional), peeled and crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 - 3 tsp salt
- Soak beans overnight in plenty of cold water to cover.
- Drain and put into a large heavy-based saucepan.
- Add measured amount of cold water for cooking.
- Bring to the boil and boil briskly, uncovered, for 10 minutes to prevent the possibility of food poisoning.
- Top and tail leeks leaving on about 10 cm / 4 inches of green ‘skirt’.
- Slit lengthwise, wash thoroughly under running warm water then thickly slice.
- Add to pan of beans with all remaining ingredients except salt.
- Bring to the boil, lower heat and cover tightly.
- Simmer for ¾ - 1 hour until beans are soft.
- Remove bay leaf, season with salt and serve hot.
- Tip: the addition of a lamb bone improves the flavour.