bean soup, the ultimate comfort food

I get it, it’s the middle of summer & the last thing anyone wants is a hot soup when it’s 40C outside. Would you be upset if I said you were wrong though, that it doesn’t matter, that comfort is comfort no matter the weather? That’s what I’m saying, I’m sure a majority would disagree but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.

I think the very definition of comfort food is that a dish needs to be warm, filling, & enticing to your senses. I know for some the go-to is ice-cream. Others, it’s french fries. We all have a tendency to be drawn more towards either sweet or salty. At the end of the day, I think the most comforting items are the ones that remind you of home.

So here it is, bean soup. I wasn’t involved in this recipe until after it became left-overs. That’s when it became my domain. To get to the leftovers however we need to start with the original, and trust me, it’s good.

P.s. this is what the leftovers look like.

Ingredients:
– 3 carrots
– 3 celery sticks
– 3 white onions
– 1 fennel root
– 1 pack of good quality bacon
– 1 cup white wine
– enough chicken stock to cover the beans
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1 tbs finely chopped rosemary
– 1 handful finely chopped parsley
– 3 bay leaves
– 1 tsp all-spice
– 200g chickpeas*
– 500g red adzuki beans*
– 500g white beans (preferably canelini)*
– 150g sweet corn
– salt & pepper to taste
– 1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:
– rinse beans & chickpeas & then place in a bowl of water to soak over night.
– chop the vegetables into 5mm cubes. Set the onion aside in one bowl, & the remaining vegetables in another.
– chop the bacon into 1.5 cm chunks.
– place your pressure cooker on the stove & set the heat to low-medium. Add the bacon to the cooker and cook until the fat is rendered. Turn the heat up to high and crisp.
– remove the bacon from he cooker, leaving behind the fat & add 2 tbs olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium-high & saute all the vegetables & garlic (excluding the corn) for 5-10 minutes or until soft.
– add the herbs & spices, salt & pepper, & cook for an additional minute.
– add the white wine & cook until the liquid is reduced to half.
– add the beans & chickpeas & pour in enough chicken broth to cover the beans. (for liquid quantities, also consult the pressure cookers manual)
– close the lid and allow to cook on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
– once done, add the corn whilst the soup is still hot. Serve into the desired bowl & drizzle with fresh olive oil.

When you tire of the soup, the leftovers of this dish can be turned into something equally amazing.

Ingredients:
– 1 tsp sage
– 2 cup leftover soup
– 2 sausages
– basmati rice

Directions:
– place a skillet on the stove and bring the heat to medium-high.
– chop the sausage into the desired sized chunks and add to the pan. Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending upon the side & fat quantities of the sausage.
– once browned & cooked thoroughly, add the soup & sage. Continue to cook on medium heat until the mixture is creamy & thick.
– serve over a bowl of hot basmati rice
– ….this will change your life. I’m going on day three of these leftovers.

Oh leftovers, how I love thee!

Helpful Techniques:
1. pressure cookers vary in operation depending upon the make & size of the unit. The cooker seals the pot & does not allow the steam to escape, that is why we put just enough liquid to cover the beans. If more liquid were added, the soup would not turn out this thick & creamy dish that it is.
2. Generally, seasoning the dish before or after cooking changes the results. In stews & dishes similar to this, the different salt content of various stocks may make judging the appropriate amount of salt & pepper difficult. That’s why we always add a reasonably small amount of the two whilst cooking, and top up to taste once the dish is complete. This is especially true when cooking stews without the aid of a pressure cooker as the liquid reduces significantly thus intensifying the salty flavor.
3. * Always buy dry beans instead of the canned ones in liquid. The canned ones come pre-cooked and can significantly alter the recipe.

….for more recipes from us, check out our archives here.

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