Italian Bean Soup
Lots of chunky vegetables simmered until soft, this soup is then thickened
by adding Italian beans and mashing the soup. Sprinkle on some crispy fried
pancetta or streaky bacon for the finishing touch.
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|1 large can (410g) of borlotti
|1 large can (410g) of
cannelloni beans drained
|1 large can (400g) of chopped plum tomatoes
|200g / 7oz of pancetta or streaky bacon
|2 medium sized onions
|3 medium carrots
|3 sticks of celery
|2 cloves of garlic
|1 litre of vegetable stock
(hot water and 2 stock cubes)
|1 level teaspoon dried rosemary (two if fresh)
|3 tablespoons of
olive or vegetable oil
|Salt and pepper to taste
PREPARATION TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: 40 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy
SERVINGS: 4 to 6 bowls of soup
: 1 large pan with a lid, 1 large frying pan
See recipe step 1 below before preparing the ingredients below.
Peel and chop the onion.
Peel and slice the carrots.
Finely chop the celery sticks.
Peel and finely chop the garlic.
COOK'S NOTES FOR ITALIAN BEAN SOUP
Our ingredients below includes borlotti and cannellini beans because they are
traditionally Italian. However almost any similar type of beans can be used with
good results. In many soups potatoes are used to thicken the mixture, in this
Italian Bean Soup we mash the beans to provide the thickening.
We've read similar recipes for this type of soup and noted that they
significantly under estimate the preparation time. We think 25 minutes is
about right, although it may take some people 5 minutes or so longer. It's
the chopping of the vegetables which take the time but most of it can be
done while the pancetta / streaky bacon is frying.
Recipe by David Marks.
Before starting the preparation steps above, start cooking the pancetta
/ streaky bacon. Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil.
Fry the pancetta (streaky bacon) until it begins to crisp up - you will probably
need to do this in two batches unless your pan is huge! Now continue with the
preparation, turning the pancetta every two or three minutes.
When the pancetta is cooked remove it from the frying pan, let it cool
for a couple of minutes and then cut it into smallish pieces with a pair of
scissors. Place to one side.
Pour the oil from the frying pan into a large pan on a low to medium
heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook them for 17
minutes with the lid on. Turn the vegetables every few minutes and adjust
the heat if they are sizzling too much.
Add the garlic, rosemary, vegetable stock and tomatoes, cook for 15 more
minutes turning the ingredients occasionally. Add the two cans of beans
(drained of the water). Mash the soup with a potato masher - this will break up
some of the beans. If the pan is full and mashing is difficult then remove
most of the non-liquid ingredients to another pan and mash in there. Taste
the soup and add salt and pepper to taste.
the soup hot into bowls. Sprinkle a portion of the fried pancetta /
streaky bacon on top. This soup tastes great on its own or served with
chunky bread. Dip the bread in good quality extra virgin oil and balsamic
vinegar. A bottle of chilled Peroni beer makes a superb drink to accompany
this traditional Italian soup.