As you know, we have been on holidays. Last week in Lisbon, it was 43°C. Yesterday, we arrived in Bridgetown to 10°C. I know that would not sound cold to those who live in the northern hemisphere but the Aussies out there will appreciate how cold that is. It was freezing!!
Instantly, Maus turned her mind to soup. I am very particular about my soup. In my humble opinion, nothing beats pea and ham soup but this one comes pretty close. It is based on a recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Mediterranean Cookbook. It is very hearty. Certainly a meal in itself. We make it regularly.
- ¾ cup borlotti beans*
- ¾ cup blackeye beans*
- 1 bacon hock
- olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 small or 1 large can of tomatoes (or 2 jars preserved tomatoes 🙂 – yes, they are coming in handy)
- 2 tbs (40mls) tomato paste
- ½ tsp sugar (or more to taste)
- 2 small or 1 large chicken stock cubes, crumbled**
- 1½ litres of water**
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh parsley, to serve
*You could substitute other beans if you can’t get blackeye and borlotti.
**Alternatively, use 1½ litres of chicken stock.
- Place beans in a bowl, cover with water and stand overnight.
- The next day, drain the beans.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onions and cook until transparent (don’t brown).
- Add the celery and carrot. Cook a few minutes.
- Add all the other ingredients (except the cheese or parsley).
- Bring to the boil then reduce heat and cook until the beans and vegetables are tender and the meat falls away from the bone.
- Remove the hock from the pot and, when cool enough to handle, remove the meat. Chop the meat and return it to the pot.
- Taste, and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Reheat and serve, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or parsley.