There is nothing more satisfying than a soup on a cold winters day or evening (yes, even in Australia!). This winter there are a couple that I find myself making over and over again, not least because they are quick and easy to make but oh so tasty. A loaf of crusty bread for dunking, a big bowl of soup, satisfaction guaranteed.
The first recipe is of my own concoction and the second is courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis.
1 Brown Onion
1 Carrot, sliced
1 Celery Stalk, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 slice of Pancetta, cut into dice
1 tbsp Olive Oil
400gm can Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
250ml Chicken Consommé
A good grinding of Black Pepper
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and pancetta and cook gently to sweat down.
Add the chickpeas and chicken consommé (I like to use consommé rather than stock as it adds a greater depth of flavour) and bring to the boil. Add a good grinding of black pepper (I do not add salt as there is usually enough from the consommé and pancetta). Simmer gently for about thirty minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
Allow to cool slightly and then blend until smooth. Be careful when blending hot liquid! Taste again for seasoning and then serve.
This recipe would serve four as an entree (in which case you could add a swirl of cream and some crunchy pancetta pieces for a little decadence) or one hungry person for lunch for a couple of days!
Tuscan White Bean & Garlic Soup
1 tbspn Oilve Oil
2 tbspn Butter
1 Brown Onion, chopped
1 Sage Leaf
2 x 400gm cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1ltr Chicken Stock (low salt)
4 cloves of Garlic, squashed and cut in half
1/2 cup of Cream
Put the butter and olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and cook until softened. Add the beans and sage leaf, torn, and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring to a simmer and then add the garlic. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the garlic is softened.
Blend until smooth and then add the cream and black pepper to taste. Serve with grilled ciabatta bread.
This quantity will give six good serves.
These soups are souper healthy and souper tasty – I hope you will try them and enjoy them.