La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Friday, 20 February 2015

Italian Bean Soup


                                                       Italian Bean Soup

A wonderful warming, filling and yet healthy soup including lots of store cupboard or fridge ingredients you're bound to have at hand. This is as low fat as I could make it.

I had a good turn out of my kitchen cupboards this week due to redecorating... I know I had far too many cans in one cupboard, in fact 4 cans of barlotti beans and several green lentils and goodness knows how many cans of tinned tomatoes...arghh a great excuse to use some up I thought.  Well, this soup recipe makes enough to serve at least 6 healthy portions as long as you have a reasonable supply of vegetables at hand,  I added some herbs and parmesan shavings from the fridge for an extemely pleasant lunch for all.

Now what do I do with 3 cans of Black Cherries...wait for the next thrilling instalment

Here's how I made it


100g/3oz pancetta (or smoked bacon) sliced or cubed...  Completely optional if you are vegetarian use 1tbsp olive oil instead.
1 large onion diced
1 large carrot diced
2 sticks of celery diced
few leaves of tuscan kale or1/4 of a pointed cabbage... Sweetheart or Hispi thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic crushed
2 bay leaves (remove on serving)
tsp dried thyme
1 heaped tsp paprika
2 400g/13oz tins of Barlotti beans or similar variety
1 400g/13oz tin green lentils
1  400g/ 13oz tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsps tomato puree
2 stock cubes chicken or vegetable
Parmesan shavings
3 tins of water (using the chopped tomato can)
2 tsps salt
1 heaped tsp black pepper
A little chopped parsley or basil to serve

Heat a large saucepan (no oil) and add the pancetta/bacon or the olive oil if your a vegetarian
Cook the pancetta for a couple of minutes then add the onion, celery and carrot. Sweat for around 5 minutes on a low heat.
Add the garlic , tomato puree, smoked paprika, thyme & bay leaves...add a lid to the pan a sweat further until the veg starts to soften,
Now add the canned tomatoes, rinse the out the can adding the water to the pan plus another 2 cans of water....add the stockcubes, salt and pepper.

Cook on until everything is tender.
Now add the drained beans & lentils.
When this comes back to the boil add the cabbage.
Cook for around 8 minutes until the cabbage is al-dente
Check the seasoning and serve adding a little chopped parsley/basil and some Parmesan shavings
Serve into warm bowls whilst hot and serve with some crusty bread