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7 February 2013

Smoked Bacon, Bean and Savoy Cabbage Soup

Photo: © childsdesign

A good soup should provide satisfaction and nourishment and be a pleasure to make as well as eat. We like our soups to be hearty and a complete meal in a bowl that can be made at the end of a busy day. This one is chunky and extremely delicious served with a few hunks of lightly toasted bread.

Tip: You don’t have to stick slavishly to the recipe – most other beans are interchangeable for borlotti. Try flageolet, pinto, cannellini, they all work equally as well.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil (extra virgin cold pressed) plus extra for drizzling
  • 150g thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into small strips
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, to serve

Place a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the bacon and fry until it starts to colour.
Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Into the pan, add the onion, thyme, carrots, celery and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally and be careful not to burn the vegetables.

Return the bacon to the pan along with the beans and stock. Stir to combine and bring the pan to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve in bowls drizzled with rapeseed oil and use a vegetable peeler to shave over the Pecorino cheese.

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