Alex's book of recipes

Butter bean purée

Rich and flavourful bean purée, with versatile uses.


250g dried butter beans, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water with ½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2½ tbsp lemon juice (or 1 preserved lemon)

90ml olive oil

Fine sea salt and black pepper


Drain the soaked beans and put them in a large saucepan. Cover with lots of fresh water, bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 45m and up to an hour and a half, until completely soft. Drain, retaining the cooking water. While they are still hot, put the beans in the bowl of a blender / food processor and add the garlic, lemon juice (or preserved lemon), olive oil, 80ml of the cooking water, a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Blitz to a very smooth purée, transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool down.


Serve over toast, or garnished with dukkah, grated hard-boiled egg, and freshly chopped parsley.