Using beans to thicken soups creates a smooth and creamy texture. Shiitake mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for their immune-stimulating properties, while fennel bulbs and seeds are excellent for cleansing the digestion as well as supporting kidney function.


 Serves 4 
  • 10g (.oz) coconut oil
  • 200g (7oz) fennel bulb, finely shredded
  • 2 celery sticks, finely shredded
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100g (3 ½ oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g (7oz) cooked haricot blanc beans
  • 750ml (1 ¼ pints/3 cups) Chicken Broth (see page 44)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and fried in 1 tsp clarified butter
Melt the coconut oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the fennel, celery, onion, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and fennel seeds and sweat over a medium heat until they turn a light brown colour. Stirring continuously, add the thyme, bay leaves and beans and cover with the chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and liquidize the soup, using a stick or jug blender, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and the lemon juice. Pass the soup through a fine sieve. Ladle into bowls and serve with the fried shiitake mushrooms.