Puree about ¾ of the beans, adding a little water if necessary, to create a smooth creamy paste.
Heat oil in a medium pan. Stir in the onion and cook until it softens. Add the carrot and celery. (you may like to sweat the carrots and celery in a tiny amount of oil before hand) Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Cook for 6-8 minutes more, stirring often.
Pour in the boiling water. Use more for a runnier soup. Stir in the beans and the bean puree. Season with salt. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle over a little olive oil.
Tips:Try using borlotti beans. If you are planning on using dried beans cook them first, with a bay leaf for added flavor.
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