Here’s an easy warming winter soup. Use a smoky bacon (or speck) to give it a good flavour. Serve with toasted sourdough (real sourdough, not that mis-labelled stuff from the supermarket) for lunch or supper – or as a meal, if you add the extra vegetables.
- bacon rashers - 3 rashers, rinds removed and diced (or use a few slices of diced speck)
- olive oil - 1 - 2 tablespoons
- brown onion - 1, peeled and finely chopped
- carrot - 1, peeled and diced
- celery - 1 stalk, diced
- garlic - 3 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- lima or butter beans - 2 x 400g tins, drained and rinsed under cold water
- chicken stock - 1.5 litres
- dried thyme or fresh rosemary - 1 teaspoon
- freshly ground pepper and salt - to taste
- freshly grated parmesan
- micro herbs - or a few dollops of home-made basil pesto
Serves 6 - 8
Fry the bacon or speck in a pan over medium-high heat until it sizzles and begins to brown. Add the olive oil and the onion, carrot and celery. Turn down the heat and sweat the vegetables until they are soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
Add the beans, stock, herbs and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, turn heat to low and leave to simmer for an hour or so. Spoon into warm bowls and serve hot with toasted sourdough bread.
1. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and/or micro herbs and pesto.
2. For a thicker, more substantial soup, add extra vegetables about 20 minutes before end of cooking time eg. 1 - 2 peeled diced potatoes and ½ peeled, diced kumara or 1/4 peeled, diced butternut pumpkin. Sliced zucchini are a good addition but only need 5 - 8 minutes. Frozen peas will add colour - add them five minutes before end of cooking time.