Wednesday, July 08, 2009


serves 6

For the soup
900 grams bacon
500 grams fresh haricot beans
500 grams fresh red kidney beans
500 grams large runner beans or large flat green beans
4 large courgettes (zucchini), diced (but not peeled)
4 medium-sized potatoes, diced
1 tomato, skinned and pipped, and cut into pieces
1 thinly sliced white onion
salt and pepper from the mill

For the pistou
2 to 4 cloves of garlic (according to taste)
leaves and tender shoots of 3 sprigs of basil
1 tomato, skinned and pipped, and cut into pieces
80 grams gruyère, finely grated
80 grams matured Dutch cheese, finely grated
olive oil

Shell the haricot and kidney beans and prepare and trim the flat green beans into inch-length sticks. Prepare the other vegetables. In a large pan put 2 litres of water to heat. If you have opted for the recipe with smoked ham or bacon, remove the rind from the bacon and cut into 6 or 12 equally-sized portions. Place the rind and the meat into the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove any scum.

Add the three varieties of beans and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If you have added ham or bacon, take into account the salt which the meat will bring to the preparation. Then add the courgettes, potatoes, onion and tomato and cook for a further 20 minutes. At the end of this period, the soup should be nice and thick.

During this time, pound the garlic and basil leaves and shoots using a mortar and pestle. When thoroughly blended, add the tomato and continue the process, and then add the cheese. Finally, slowly blend in sufficient olive oil to obtain a smooth rich sauce. (This operation can be done in a blender if you prefer).

When you are ready to serve, check the seasoning of the soup and remove the bacon rind. Add the pistou to the soup, mix in thoroughly, and cook gently for another 2 minutes.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Philippe Broad, Culturekiosque, Euromedia Group Ltd., 164 Madison Avenue, 5th Floor, New York, New York 10016-5411

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