Sausage and bean soup

This soup, I say soup but it is more like a stew, comes from the mountains. Rich full-boded soup, which will feed you for the day it you are working out side. I do not like the term peasant food but this is rustic flavourful stuff.

To make the soup you will need,

2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions
3 garlic cloves
1 large or 2 medium carrots
A stick of celery
A good sprig or two of fresh oregano leaves
3 sausages (about 400g/14oz)
A couple of pinches of crushed dried chillies
A pinch of fennel seeds
Juice and zest of one orange
A glass of dry sherry
5 or 6 decent-sized tomatoes
2 x 400g/14oz tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and black pepper to taste

Take your onions and garlic, add them to hot oil in a heavy based saucepan on a low heat, and cover with a lid. Once they have softened, in about 10 minutes, add your celery and carrot and let them cook for a while. Just dice the carrots and celery up roughly do not worry to much about fine diced veg.

Now add the sausage, fennel seeds and oregano. Let the fat and oil come out of the sausage. Now take your tomatoes and just chop them up. Once more, do not worry so much about removing skins. Cook them down so you star to get a pulp.

Once every thing has started to cook down add the beans, take the can that the beans can in and fill with water and add that to the pot. Add the juice and jest of the orange, and let it all simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Once hit has cooked down add the sherry and let it cook a little longer. What you are looking for is that the water will have reduced by half and a lovely tomato rich soup bubbling away in the pot.

If you can cook this half way up a mountain on a camp fire and it would be perfect.

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