Monday, 27 February 2012

Bean & Pesto Soup

I'm having a hard time coming up with recipes for the blog this winter. The problem is that we have been very successful at filling our freezers and cold storage with things we've grown and prepared ourselves. We froze tubs of stew, and ratatouille, and chard rolls, and apple crisp, and pesto, not to mention oodles and oodles of vegetables.  And then we take them out, thaw them and heat them, and eat them. Done. But not exactly a recipe, or if it is, it's one that's been posted already.

Pesto is a great thing to freeze (sans cheese) when basil is in season. It's compact and doesn't take up too much room, and it is SOOO much cheaper to make your own in season, not to mention that you can be sure it will be good. And if you have even a little garden space, you can grow your own basil. If you didn't freeze it last year though, you are going to miss out now. But go buy some basil seed for this summer!

I thawed out some pesto, and then decided I wanted it with something other than pasta for a change. Since I was in the process of cooking a big pot of beans (about which more later) I decided to use it on some of the beans. It turned out to be a soup, although I guess it's thick enough you could call it a stew. 

I cooked the beans myself (heck, I even grew them) but you could probably use about 2 large (540 ml) cans in their place, with the packing water instead. This is just a throw-it-together thing, so be prepared to adjust it according to the amounts and flavours of what you have.

3 or 4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Bean and Pesto Soup

4 cups cooked white beans
2 cups bean cooking water
1/2 cup chopped dried tomatoes
1 to 2 cup chopped frozen green veg of your choice, semi-thawed
1/2 cup prepared pesto (4 frozen ice-cube tray cubes)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus a bit more to garnish

Put the beans and the cooking water with the dried tomatoes into a sufficient pot, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Add the vegetables, preferably thawed enough to not be in a massive lump. Continue cooking until the soup is hot again. Stir in the pesto and the cheese. Serve it up, and pass a little more cheese to sprinkle on top.

Last year at this time I made Lemon Meringue Pudding (or Pie).

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