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Winter vegetable and bean soup with Kabanossi

A really nice soup with or without the Kabanossi sausage (so you can leave this out if you like) though it does add an extra layer of  smoky flavour. Most supermarkets stock Kabanossi sausages near the salami and other dried sausages.

Winter vegetable & bean soup with Kabanossi sausage – serves 8 to 9 (freezes well)

  • 225g rindless streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 225g onions, chopped
  • 275g carrot, cut into 5mm dice
  • 125g parsnips, cut into 5mm dice
  • 200g white part of 1 leek, cut into 5mm slices
  • 1 Kabanossi sausage (optional), cut into 5mm slices
  • 1 x 400g tin of good-quality tomatoes (Italian brands are good)
  • 225g haricot beans, soaked and cooked (see note at end)
  • 1.8 litres home-make chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Blanch the bacon, refresh and dry well with paper towels. (To do this y0u need to cover with cold water, then bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes before draining into a sieve and rinsing with cold water. This process removes some of the saltiness.)

Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and warm the olive oil. Add the bacon and sauté until crisp and golden, then add the onion, carrots and celery. Cover the pan and sweat for 5 minutes, then add the parsnip and leeks. Cover again and continue to sweat for another 5 minutes.

If you are using the Kabanossi sausage add it now. Chop the tomatoes roughly in the tin and add to the vegetables with the cooked beans. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, then add the stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lots of brown bread & butter.

To prepare the haricot beans

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water. Drain the beans and cover with fresh cold water, add a bouquet garni (a bay leaf, sprig of parsley & spring of thyme tied with string), a carrot and an onion, then cover and simmer until the beans are soft. This will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on the age of your beans. It’s important to check them often and stop cooking before they turn mushy. Season with salt when the beans are almost cooked. Drain and discard the vegetable and bouquet garni.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 2001.)

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