Tuscan Bean Soup

The Italians know a thing or two about soup.  My husband’s from an Italian family that’s been in Australian since the 1860s.  He’s about as true-blue Aussie as you can get, but Italy still runs strongly in his genes.  So when I produced this soup, using the classic Tuscan combination of cannellini beans and LOTS of garlic, it got inhaled so fast it didn’t touch the sides.  The bacon isn’t strictly authentic; it should be pancetta.  I only had bacon, so that’s what went into the soup.  He didn’t complain.

You’ll need:
2 400g/14oz cans cannellini beans, drained
3 crushed cloves garlic
1 large white potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 leek, cleaned and shredded. Use some green bits too.
1  litre (1.25 pints) chicken stock
Fresh thyme and sage, chopped
Couple of short cut rashers of bacon, cut into thin strips
Olive oil

Pale in colour, but not at all pale in flavour. Don't eat this just before a first date...

Pale in colour, but not at all pale in flavour. Don’t eat this just before a first date…

Put a generous glug of olive oil into the bottom of your soup pot.  Heat and fry the shredded leeks and garlic till soft and the smell makes the neighbours come round to ask what’s for dinner.  Add the chopped potato and drained beans, and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes to combine everything.  Add the stock and turn up the heat. Bring to the boil and cook until the potato is falling apart. Cool slightly, and then use a stick blender to blitz until there’s mostly smooth soup and still some chunks of bean, leek and potato. Just whizz until it achieves the texture you prefer.  Add the herbs, and cook for another 10 minutes at a simmer.  While that’s happening, fry the chopped bacon in a heavy pan with minimal or no fat, till it’s brown and crispy.  Serve soup with crispy bacon sprinkled on top. We saved on the washing up when the soup plate was licked clean….

Hopefully my food photography is improving.  I only have a cheap little Sanyo digital camera, with 3X zoom.  I have to do about 4 shots of each thing, using different types of exposure before I find something I’m not too ashamed to post.  But at least now things are beginning to be mostly in focus….  Pictures are nice, but for me, it’s all about cooking!

That’s today’s post.  Thank you to the 47 people who visited the other day – it was my all time record for visitors, and considering this blog’s only been going a month, I’m pleased and grateful for the interest that’s being shown.  Don’t hesitate to ask if there’s a GF recipe you’re looking for, or want advice on how to adapt a recipe to make it gluten free.

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One thought on “Tuscan Bean Soup

  1. Husband says:

    … two soups in two nights… Husband Heaven xxx

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