You have probably guessed already that food is an obsession of mine and plays a kinda big role in my life i.e. if I am not eating it, I am thinking about it! Apart from needing it to stay alive, food can be important to people for many different reasons. For example in our house at the moment it seems that there is a never-ending conveyor belt of different meals required and it is quite the full-time job trying to think of what to feed everyone and keeping the fridge stocked (there is only 4 of us!!). Darling daughter (DD) is in study mode for the Leaving Cert so as well as needing food to keep her fit and healthy, food is a real source of comfort in a gruelling schedule and can often be the highlight of her day. Darling son (DS) plays Senior Football(Gaelic) for which he trains 6 or 7 times a week, needs large amounts of carbs and protein for energy, strength and recovery – he seems to be always foraging in the fridge! This ‘soup’ which is a meal in itself keeps everyone happy whether it is for lunch, pre or post training or for supper. My daughter adores it as do I, it tastes great and takes just 2 minutes to re-heat in the microwave. Perfect for taking to school or work and really easy to make.
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
150g (5oz) tinned haricot beans, drained & rinsed in cold water.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 leeks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
75g pancetta / smoked bacon pieces
1 litre (1½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock
1½ tablespoons tomato purée
1 bay leaf
75g (3oz) tiny pasta shapes
Freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
Grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or Gran Padano) to serve
How to make it!
- Chop / cut the pancetta into small pieces (approx. 2cm) – a scissors works best for this.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan
- Add the chopped onion, garlic, diced leeks, carrots & celery and the bacon pieces.
- Cook for 10 minutes over a low heat without colouring, stirring occasionally.
- Add the drained & rinsed haricot beans to the pan.
- Add the stock and tomato purée and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 15/20 minutes until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir the pasta into the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes until tender, stirring frequently.
- Season to taste
- Serve with parmesan cheese grated over the top.