Salt, Pepper and a Dollop of Cream

One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks

Countryman’s Bean Soup

Countryman's Bean Soup

After enjoying some unusually balmy weather last week, Spring has returned to its usual cold blast and temperatures have plummeted again to 5oC.  I’m freezing and have switched on the heating. What is it about the cold that makes you SOO hungry? Last week I was eating salads, this week I want big bowls of soups and stews, and pies!

{Now I’m going to digress here slightly but it will all tie together in the end. Bear with me…}

I’ve taken the plunge people, and have rented a 100 square metre allotment. Yes, I’m going for the good life! I took over the plot as I now call it, about 5 weeks ago and have made some progress in getting it into shape.  When I first saw it, I thought I’d lost the plot! What had I taken on? The previous allotmenteer had left it in terrible shape with a heck of a lot of weeds amongst other things. Turning the soil I found nails, screws, burnt wood, plastic netting and a non-existent crop rotation system (you would think I know what I’m taking about, wouldn’t you!). But I love it and have gone helter skelter crazy with a vision that I have for my little parcel of land.  I’m planning to build on the bare bones structure that was there to create a little haven that I can escape to and grow a lot of root veg – carrots, beetroot, onions, garlic, brassicas – kohl rabi, kale, turnips and legumes divided into three large beds. The legumes will consist of runner beans, french beans and borlotto or borlotti beans.

{Ok, let’s tie this post together…}

Countryman's Bean SoupI used to use a lot of beans in my cooking with a particular love of flageolet beans.  Then I stopped.  The allotment has me interested in growing beans that you just can’t buy here.  And that interest has been reinforced with a soup mix that I picked up in my local supermarket from their Italian section.  It was called “Zuppa di Fagioli del Contadino.”  Doesn’t that sound fab? Countryman’s Bean Soup, a dried soup mix by Casale that contains beans, peppers, carrot, onion, courgette, aubergines, chives, parsley and basil.

Countryman's Bean SoupI emptied the contents into a saucepan and was immediately struck by the beautiful colours in the pan. I followed the instructions soaking the mix until it swelled (I had to change to a bigger pot), cooking it over a low heat, adding butter and grated parmesan at the end. I added a teaspoon of salt, not the two recommended as the stockpot I added already has salt in it.  The soup turned from the clear soaking water to an earthy brown.

Countryman's Bean SoupThe flavour too is earthy and moreish, and the cheese gives an interesting hearty dimension.  Within minutes my bowl was empty.  I’m now comfortably stuffed and extremely satisfied!

I have to say that this is an easy soup mix to make and one that I highly recommend.  I wonder will I be able to replicate it using produce from my plot? We shall see!


Xx Paula

3 comments on “Countryman’s Bean Soup

  1. Chef Amy at Remke Markets
    April 13, 2015

    Looks Delicious Paula!!! 🙂

  2. Conor Bofin
    April 13, 2015

    That looks fantastic. I have been experimenting with beans and other pulses lately and am really enjoying the discoveries.

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This entry was posted on April 13, 2015 by in Starters, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , .

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