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Posts Tagged ‘beans’

It’s turned rather chilly this week. We’ve started lighting the wood burning stove in the evenings, but during the day the Vicarage can be a bit nippy. My usual lunch solution in cold weather is a bowl of soup. But recently I have been branching out into hot salads. I’m not sure if that’s the correct technical term, but I’ve been frying and roasting veg in various combinations, to warm firstly the kitchen, and secondly the Vicar and me. This recipe is easily constructed from ingredients I almost always have in the fridge and pantry.

Today’s combination was a fried option because we only had half an hour to spare before the Vicar had a meeting scheduled. It was prepared and cooked in fewer than 15 minutes, and consumed in even less time than that.

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Ingredients (serves 2)

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2/3 rashers bacon, sliced into strips

a handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2/3 tbspn cream or creme fraiche

Fry the onion and garlic gently in olive oil until softened. Then add the bacon and cook, then the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are soft and juicy add the beans and the cream and grind some pepper over. Heat through and serve, with crusty bread if you’re really hungry, but this is very filling without.

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This recipe is the favourite of Surfer, who is Godfather to the Joker. I used to make it when he came to pray with the Vicar back in the relaxed days of theological college. It’s loosely based on minestrone, but without the pasta. Pasta is a pain in soup cos it goes revoltingly soggy if you have leftovers, or want to freeze it. So this has beans instead and is easily made from things I normally have in the fridge and pantry.

Ingredients

  • 4 rashers bacon, finely chopped, or small pack lardons
  • Medium onion, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, quartered lengthwise and then finely sliced
  • Tin of beans – haricot, borlotti or canellini
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes or jar/tetrapak of passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • Olive (or other) oil, mixed herbs

Fry your onion in a little olive oil and then add the bacon and cook until the fat begins to crisp. Then add other veggies, fry a little and add tomatoes and tinful of water or more to dilute to a soupy consistency.

Bring it to the boil and simmer for 10-15mins until the vegetables are tender. Rinse the beans and add to the soup, along with a smattering of mixed herbs or just oregano. Heat through and serve with crusty bread. This is good for May lunches, given the temperatures this year!

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When I had a surplus of leftover gammon the other week I made two very pleasing dinners for the family, as well as sending the kids to school with gammon sandwiches for half the week. The second recipe I tried was this Spanish hotpot, an extrapolation from a suggestion from a Twitter pal.

This was so popular that the kids were begging me for extras, even when it was all finished up. I shall be making this again, with chorizo or bacon if leftover gammon is lacking.

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Chopped leftover gammon
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin baked beans
1tspn smoked paprika

Fry the onion in a casserole dish until soft and translucent. Then add the pepper and gammon, the tomatoes and the beans, together with the smoked paprika. Add water to cover the ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes until the peppers are soft. Serve with rice or crusty bread.

It is the smoked paprika that makes this taste particularly delicious, although you could use the unsmoked variety if you haven’t got the smoked. Other options for this dish would be peppers of other varieties, different varieties of pork – bacon or chorizo perhaps, cannellini or haricot beans rather than baked (maybe add some tomato puree instead), and olives might be good too.

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