You know those ads on TV, where some idiot celebrity ‘chef’ or other takes an ‘ordinary Australian’ to Coles and makes dinner for $10? Have you noticed that he always cooks pasta? Moron!
No. I tell a lie, he cooked barbecued chicken drumsticks and salad too. But it’s been pasta every other time. And there, in the next aisle to the dried pasta, you can buy dried beans, tinned beans, all kinds of beans. It’s insane.
Those ads really annoy me. Because they always prepare their pasta with about a kilo of beef mince between four people and claim that they’re showing a ‘tip’ for saving money. Idiots.
For $10, I reckon I could feed eight people, if I cooked beans, with some scrap bacon and plenty of vegetables. I wouldn’t buy the ingredients from bloody Coles though… not if I wanted to save money.
Beans are one of the most nutritious, the cheapest and the most healthful foods around. It’s kind of amazing to think that before Columbus and Cortés and the Spanish invasion of Mesoamerica, Europe had hardly any beans.
They had broad beans and chick peas (that’s fava beans and garbanzo beans to my American readers) and lentils… and that was about it! Green beans, black turtle beans, borlotti beans, red kidney beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, all came from Mesoamerica.
And that’s not even mentioning tomato, maize, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, chillies, capsicum, long peppers, chocolate, turkey … what the hell did they do in Europe before these foods were brought from America?? I mean, really! (They used to eat acorns! The original recipe for polenta was made from boiled chestnuts!)
But beans. They’re very good. And cheap. And high in nutrients and fibre. Complete proteins too, if you cook them with a little meat or a few mushrooms to make up the missing amino acids. Anyhoo, here’s my recipe for…
How To Make Bean Soup - Catalan Bean Soup
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Ingredients For Catalan Bean Soup
- 400g tin tomatoes, 2 large onions, 12 garlic cloves, 400g tin butter beans, 4 chorizo.
- Olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric, crushed chilli.
- 1 litre chicken stock, fresh thyme.
Instructions For Catalan Bean Soup
- Chop the tomatoes up in the tin with a pair of scissors. Peel and slice the onions and garlic. Drain and wash the beans carefully, taking care not to break them up. Slice the chorizo into thick slices. Put them all aside in separate bowls.
- Gently fry the chorizo in a dry pan for fifteen minutes, turning them over every few minutes. Put them aside.
- Add some oil to the chorizo grease.
- Gently fry the onion and garlic for ten minutes, in the chorizo grease and oil, stirring it up now and then.
- Add some salt, pepper, turmeric and crushed chilli and fry it for another few minutes.
- Add the stock, along with as much thyme as you feel is good, the chorizo, the tomatoes and the beans and simmer the soup for an hour.
- Adjust the seasonings.
This soup is one of those odd dishes which are easy to make, yet taste spectacular. You can serve it with a little sour cream or grated cheese if you like, but it’s good by itself. By the by, the original dish on which this dish is based is more of a bean stew, rather than a soup. But it is from Catalonia tho’.