Bean soup….hmmm, I don’t really get the concept of bean soup because for us here in Malaysia, that’s more of a hot dessert thing. But I’m game to try anything Italian because I find sometimes the name sounds fancier and harder than it really is. The weather is a bit wonky these days. It gets really hot during the morning then about late afternoon, it pours with the skies full of wrath and then by evening, the sun comes out again. Funny right, I can’t bring my son out to the park because even though the weather is favourable, the ground’s wet and muddy.
My little man was down with a temp last week and usually after his recovery, I’d be next to contract his germs. Ugh! But which mother can have sick days? Die, die still have to go on is what we say here in our culture. I made this bean soup without knowing I was going to fall sick of course but I’m glad I did because when I was under the weather, I didn’t feel like eating anything else, not even porridge. So I had this for all my meals for 2 days. But after the the 2nd day, I was craving for some roast pork.
To be really honest, if I were to omit the beans in this soup, this could just as easily be a minestrone. So I guess in terms of other ingredients for Tuscan bean soup, you can put anything you’d like with the beans.
TUSCAN BEAN SOUP RECIPE
(adapted from Simply Love Food)
Leeks, chopped (soak in water for 30 mins to get rid of grits)
1 bulb of fennel, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 bacon rashers, sliced
Green courgettes, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 a small can of tomato paste
1 can of Cannelini beans
1 cup of cooked shell pasta
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a pot with a heavy base, sweat the bacon till it’s crisp and the fat rendered out.
2. Add the leeks, garlic and fennel and sautee till they’re translucent. Then add diced tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and sautee.
3. Add the vegetable broth till covering all the ingredients and more. Add tomato paste, salt, paprika, parsley, black pepper and your crisp bacon. Let everything come to a boil. Put the lid on and lower the heat to a simmer for 30 mins.
4. Taste your broth and adjust seasoning. Add Cayenne pepper if you prefer. Let it simmer for another 30 mins or less.
5. Just before you turn off the heat, add your cooked pasta, cannelini beans and diced courgettes. Put the lid on and turn off the heat.
6. Let the soup sit for 10 mins, then eat with grated Parmesan on top.