Thursday, 25 June 2015

Tuscan Bean Soup

A healthy bean soup for a winters day (even for the most skeptical of soup eaters)...

Earlier this year my husband and I went to Italy on our honeymoon, when we arrived home our wonderful friends had left us a hamper full of Italian delights. As we had managed to go over the baggage allowance before we had even started our holiday and therefore were limited to what we could bring back, we were over the moon when we were greeted with this on our return.

I have been slowly working my way through the hamper making sure not to waste any of the ingredients (as you can imagine some things went very quickly).
This week I made a Tuscan bean soup with the final thing from the hamper, a bag of beans, it was delicious and thought i'd share the recipe with you as I used a mixture of different recipes online.

Serves 4

350g bag of Tuscan bean mix (dried)
(or 40g black eye beans, 40g Borlotti beans, 40g Canellini beans, 40g kidney beans, 40g lentils, 40g yellow soya beans, 40g chickpeas, 40g broad beans, 40g peas)
1 x tablespoon olive oil (or chili oil)
1 x onion
1 x stick of celery
1 x carrot
2 x large cloves of garlic
1 x 400g tin (or carton) chopped tomatoes
1/2 litre chicken stock
sprig of rosemary
1 tablespoon paprika
chili flakes

to serve:
olive oil
ham (optional)

 1. Soak the beans over night in a bowl of cold water. They double in size so make sure your bowl is big enough.

2. Drain and rinse the beans. Boil in salted water for 45mins. Drain when cooked.

3. Finely chop your onion, celery, carrot and garlic.

4. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan that can be placed in the oven.
I used chili oil but you could add a sprinkling of chili flakes to normal olive oil if you would like a bit of a kick to your soup.

5. Add in the garlic, rosemary, onions, celery and carrot. Saute for 5-10 mins until your onions are nice and soft.

6. Add in paprika and stir for 30 secs.

7. Add in cooked beans, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock.

8. Leave to simmer for 45 mins or more. I put the pan in the oven on a low heat (150 degrees roughly)

9. Add more water if it thickens up too much, season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted rustic bread, Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
I also added some chopped up ham as we have a lot left from Christmas but this is optional.

My soup went down a storm, even with my husband who doesn't believe soup is a meal!! This one definitely is.

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