White Bean Soup

Kathy Tsaples

Ingredients:

  • 500g small dried white beans, soaked in cold water overnight and drained
  • 1 small stalk of celery, sliced and with leaves set aside
  • 2 carrots, sliced 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 small dried red chilli, crushed (optional)
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 mL) of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tin of crushed tomatoes (400g)
  • 1L of stock
  • Olives, pickles, and cheese (to serve)

Method:

  1. Rinse the beans, put them in a large pan, and pour in cold water so they are submerged. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for around 30 minutes until almost tender. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Crush the tomatoes and add the tomato paste. Add the carrots, celery, celery leaves and chilli, and pour in the hot water.
  3. Bring to a boil, add the drained beans, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1–2 hours until the beans are tender and the soup has thickened. Check frequently during cooking and add more hot water if necessary. The length of time to cook and the amount of additional water depends on the quality, age and condition of the beans.
  4. Serve hot, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper, and accompanied by olives, pickles and cheese

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