Vellutata of cannellini beans
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Serves:     people
Notes from Anna

A healthy, creamy starter rich in protein, iron and beneficial Omega 3 fats.  Delicious even without the prawns if you're catering for vegetarians.



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  1. Rinse the thyme sprigs. Roughly chop the leaves of two sprigs and set the rest aside.
  2. Drain the cannellini in a colander and rinse under running water.
  3. Peel and finely chop the shallots.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots, sprinkle lightly with salt and cook over a low heat for a few minutes until soft. Stir frequently to prevent the shallots burning.
  5. Boil a kettle and make up the stock according to the packet instructions.
  6. Add the cannellini and chopped thyme to the shallots. Stir well and cover with the stock.
  7. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the beans from the heat and blitz to a cream in a liquidiser or with a hand-held stick blender.
  9. Return to the saucepan and season with salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. Cover the saucepan with a lid and keep warm.
  10. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Sauté the prawns for 3-4 minutes until they turn pink.
  11. Spoon the cannellini cream into warm bowls. Decorate with the prawns and a few thyme leaves. Serve immediately.

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