Soup is the ultimate meal solver, if I am struggling to decide what I want to eat or am in a rush then grabbing some home-made soup out of the freezer always solves those problems. For me soup is an all year round dish, you just vary it up from winter warming root vegetables to a light summery broth full of spring greens.
My soups always tend to be creations out of my head, I very rarely follow a recipe, and when I do I tend to go slightly off piste to make it my own. The latest creation is Pancetta and Bean soup and its yummy and warming and everything you want on a cold day!
100g pancetta ( you could use bacon as an alternative)
240g cannellini beans
1 bag of spinach
2/3 carrots ( diced small)
1 white onion ( diced small)
2tsp of garlic puree
1.5litres vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
basil ( either dried or fresh)
1 tsp of pesto ( optional)
So let’s get making! Sweat the onions down until they are clear and add the garlic puree and cook out for a couple of minutes. Then add the pancetta ( remember you don’t need very much oil as the pancetta will release its own oil as it cooks!). Once the pancetta is cooked and crispy, add the chopped carrots and sweat them down for another 5 minutes or so. Next add in the beans ( drained and rinsed from the tin) and pour in the stock. Add the bay leaves and the basil, and season well ( I love lots of black pepper!). Add the teaspoon of pesto if you want here, it adds a bit more flavour to the soup.
Simmer the soup for about 20mins, and then add the bag of spinach, add it a bit at a time so it doesnt clump together. Then turn off the heat and stir the soup until the spinach has wilted.
Season with a bit more black pepper and get that soup in a bowl and dive in!