Was really pleased that several people are enjoying this – so even though most of this section’s fans are in Australia, in the middle of summer, this was a good supper recipe inspired one in the thelondonpaper I read on the way out to Shepherd’s Bush for the Socceroos game last night.

This dish is really quick and simple, and of course can be modified wildly to your taste and what’s in the pantry. It’s a good way to get some vegies into your diet, will reheat nicely after work and is a light, healthy dinner. Serve with a bread roll and some snow peas for lunch.

Bacon, Bean & Pasta Soup

Ingredients (Makes 4 serves)

  • 8 rashers rindless streaky bacon
  • 2 leeks rinsed, halved and chopped
  • 4 carrots halved length-ways and sliced
  • 400g tin mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5L stock, vegetable or chicken
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 50g small pasta shapes
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Fry the bacon in a large non-stick pan (something big enough to make soup in) , until it is golden – streaky bacon will cook in it’s own fat, leaner bacon might need a little olive oil.
  2. Add the leeds and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until softened (add some garlic and ginger here if you need the immune boost, or an onion if you have one and want to thicken this up a little.)
  3. Tip in the beans, stock, puree and pasta. Simmer until the pasta is cooked (packed will be a guide, but around 10 minutes)
  4. Stir through the parsley, serve in bowls with grated or shaved parmesan on top.

Notes

  • If you don’t keep tomato puree in the house, I don’t recommend touching tomato paste – you can always add a tin of tomatoes (mush them if they’re whole in the tin) and reduce the liquid a little. You should have tinned tomatoes in the pantry – they’re gold.
  • If you’re a vegetarian or bacon-hater, you can use some good un-salted butter to cook the leeks and carrots, and a vegetable stock as appropriate.
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