Serendipity. Sometimes the little things bring it. Rocking up to my local Supervalu to restock after two weeks holidays and finding a new line of Batchelors tinned beans* give me a little blasht of serendipity. You take it where you can get it, right?
I’m all for change but, gosh darn it, I want to be the one making the changes! When my local Superquinn switched to Supervalu I saw a few of my favourite products disappear off the shelves. Admittedly there are some new or expanded ranges but I can no more buy Doves Farm Yeast, for example. I have to schlep all the way to The Hopsack in Rathmines to pick it up. I use this nearly everyday. The range of De Cecco pastas has shrunk to insignificant – no more fusilli or lasagne sheets – but thankfully The Best of Italy in Dunville Avenue, close to the ancestral home, seems to be the importer for this brand and so stocks a dazzling range of my favourite pasta. I’m easily dazzled, folks.
Back to the beans. We were just back from our holidays. I was still in my one pot cooking mode after 2 weeks of Trangia creativity and rooting around my “Get into my mouth” Pinterest board when I came across a link to this beautiful photograph by Rachel Hathaway with accompanying instructions which fitted my mood: comforting, warm (it’s gotten colder), and easy to prepare ahead. I’ve made it three times since and I think I have it now. This is also a hit with the Nippers.
Cannelini Bean and Bacon Soup
- Heat the oil in your favourite soup pot and, once hot, add the bacon.
- Once it’s beginning to render a little add the onion and cook until soft.
- Add the garlic and soften but don’t burn and lastly add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the drained and rinsed beans, tomato puree and the herbs.
- Cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Lastly add the stock (home made or sure, feck it, from a good quality cube. I like Kallo Just Bouillon Stock Cubes which are low in sodium.)
- If you are using the Parmesan rind, add now.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove Parmesan rind and discard
- You can if you like blend some of the soup but I didn’t think it needed it. Some of the cannelini beans will soften into a lovely mush.
- Serve with delicious crusty bread (both the aformentioned Hopsack and Best of Italy stock lovely sourdoughs.)
A couple of notes: