04 November 2008

One of hubby's super soups

My lovely hubby made a great soup in our slow cooker for dinner last night. I've just had another portion for lunch and it tasted even better the second day. So good, in fact, that I thought I'd share it.

The recipe is purposely left a bit vague - soups always seem to taste best if you play it by ear, adding in what you actually like, and don't stick rigidly to a recipe. Actually, that seems to be my mantra for cooking in general. Best not apply that logic to meringues though.

Hubby's Mixed Bean & Vegetable Soup (makes about four servings)

About 250g of dried mixed beans (this mix included, pinto, black, green & red lentils, pearl barley and several others)
2 large carrots, chopped into half-moon rounds
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
Half a small savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
A little olive oil
About a litre and a half of stock (whatever type you have)
A healthy dollop of tomato puree
Small handful of storecupboard dried herbs (again, whatever you have)
A spoonful or so of black pepper to taste (or paprika or chilli if you prefer)
A ham bone, or chopped meat (spicy sausage is nice) can be added if you want to

Soak beans overnight, then discard soaking water. Add fresh water, bring back to the boil and boil fairly briskly for ten minutes, then discard water again.

While beans are boiling, gently sweat the vegetables in the olive oil, until some of them are lightly browned. Place beans and vegetables in the slow cooker whilst still hot, and sprinkle with your herbs.

Make up stock with boiling water and add the tomato puree. Add this to the slow cooker, whilst still piping hot. Add the meat now if you are going to use it

Cook (on low setting if your cooker has one) for 8 hours. Taste for seasoning and add black pepper or paprika until it tastes the way you like it. Remove ham bone before serving, if used, and serve with hunks of crusty granary bread.

I hope yours turns out to be as delicious as lovely hubby's one. Enjoy it!


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