Thursday, March 28, 2013


serves 4-6 

150 grams smoked bacon cut into small lardons
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 carrot, 5mm dice
1 large white onion, 5mm diced
150 grams leek, 5mm dice
150 grams celery, 5mm dice
250 grams butternut squash, 5mm dice
240 grams borlotti beans
100ml dry white wine
1.2 liters vegetable or white chicken stock
100 grams cavalo nero shredded
50ml olive oil
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare the bacon and vegetables: Cut the bacon into small lardons, I normally buy a chunky piece of bacon or pancetta, the smokey flavour is essential for the extra hearty taste. Wash the vegetables and cut the peeled carrot into roughly 5mm dice (you do not need to be precise with the measurements I'm only giving you an indication of the rough size required),  and do the same with the celery, onions, leek and butternut squash. Shred the cavalo nero and set aside.

If you used tinned borlotti beans then drain them; alternatively if you used dried borlotti beans soak them over night in 3 times the weight in water and cook them until tender before adding them to the soup.

Heat a large saucepan with the half  the oil and saute the bacon until golden brown, remove the bacon from the pan and return the pan to the heat.

Saute the carrots, onions, crush garlic, celery and butternut squash until golden in the remaining oil with a bit of seasoning, not too much, as the bacon is salty.

Return the smoked bacon to the pan and deglaze with the white wine, cook until all the caramelised bits that got stuck to the pan have dissolved and the wine becomes glossy around the vegetables.
Add the stock and bring the soup to a gentle simmer, cook for about 15 minutes, add the drained cooked borlotti beans.

Bring the soup back to the simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, add the shredded cavalo nero and simmer for a further 6 minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve this hearty broth with buttered chunky bread and lots of grated Parmesan cheese.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Madalene Bonvini-Hamel and Ross Pike, The British Larder: Inspirational recipe diary, October 22, 2009

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