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An Italian Pasta & Bean Soup

Ingredients:

½ kg  of fresh or dried “Borlotti” beans ( you could at a pinch use the tinned ones already cooked) or you can often find the fresh or dried beans in the health section of your supermarket.

2-3 sticks of celery

½ a chopped onion

A tomato

A small bunch of parsley

A small clove of garlic

2-3 rashers of bacon

One litre of broth which you have prepared with a chicken soup cube and/or the water from the cooked beans.

200gm of any small pasta shapes – try to find Ditalini or Cannolicchi these are classic pastas for this soup  but any small pasta will do

A little Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A dash of salt and freshly ground black  pepper

Preparation:

If you are using the dried “Borlotti” beans soak them in water over night (about 12 hrs) . 

Alternatively place the fresh “Borlotti ”in a large saucepan covered with water, add a little salt and cook  for about 35-40 minutes over a medium heat.

Drain but keep the liquid aside in another bowl.

Chop the onion, celery, parsley and the bacon rashers and gently fry with a little olive oil in a large saucepan.

Add in the chopped up tomato and allow to continue cooking over a medium heat until the ingredients are soft, don’t burn or brown the mixture, it should just soften.

Add in the “Borlotti” beans

Keep a ½ cup of the cooked “Borlotti” beans to use later

Add the broth and allow to cook for a further 30-40 minutes.

Purée the beans that you have left to one side in your mixer and add to the soup.

This thickens up the soup to a nice potage.

Add in the “cannolicchi” pasta and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Adjust for salt and pepper.

This soup, is very filling so just serve it with some French toast and a nice salad

This is definitely  one of the recipes that you can prepare the day before or several days before.

Italians make it both in winter and in summer and it is nice just slightly tepid or at room temperature.

 I f you have kept it in the fridge,  take it out well before and just slightly heat it up

If you like hot food, you can add a little Italian Peperoncino while you are cooking the mix of vegetables. But take care Italian Peperoncino is very hot.

A little parmesan cheese is very nice to sprinkle on top.