People are often rather scornful about butterbeans but their name is apt, as they do have a truly buttery flavour. Their only fault is that they break up easily but this makes them particularly suitable for soups or purées. This is a good dish to serve with a salad or vegetables for a light meal.
Soak the butterbeans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight, then drain. Put them in a saucepan with the bay leaves and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil and boil briskly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 1-1½ hours, until very soft.
Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Melt
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.