This ham, bean and rice soup is my favourite and it is a hearty dinner soup. Sprinkle bowls of soup with Parmesan cheese and serve hot. Serve extra cheese at the table. Offer crusty bread with the soup. You may substitute macaroni for the rice.
5 tablespoons olive oil
125g bacon, diced
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 large stalks celery, thinly sliced, leaves reserved and diced
1 onion, finely diced
3 carrots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
875g tinned whole peeled tomatoes, diced
1 litre chicken stock
2/3 cup (90g) brown rice
1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
1 (410g) tin borlotti beans, drained (or butter bean)
1 (410g) tin white beans, drained (or harricot bean)
1/4 cup diced fresh parsley
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Directions Preparation:15min › Cook:35min › Extra time:1hour › Ready in:1hour50min
In a large pot over medium heat cook bacon in olive oil until brown. Stir in ham and cook a few minutes more. Stir in celery (reserve the leaves), onion and carrot then cook until vegetables are tender; 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Stir in tomatoes, stock, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft and rice is nearly tender.
Stir in the beans and heat through. Stir in parsley and celery leaves and remove from heat. Serve hot.