Haricot Beans with Pancetta

3:10 pm on 23 August 2013

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 300g dried haricot beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chunks of parmesan rind, scrubbed, optional
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 750g pumpkin, skinned, seeded and cut into 2-3cm chunks
  • 50g pancetta, thickly sliced
  • Small knob of ginger
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated until very hot
  • 1 tsp tomato concentrate
  • 3 cups very hot water

Method

Preheat slow-cooker for 15-20 minutes.

Put onion in a small frying pan with oil and cook gently for 7-10 minutes until tender and lightly golden.

Put beans in a sieve and rinse under running water. Transfer to slow-cooker.

Add onion, garlic, rosemary and black pepper and stir. Add parmesan rinds if using.

Add carrots and pumpkin and scatter pancetta over the top. Bury the ginger in the middle of everything. Pour in the hot stock and the tomato concentrate dissolved in the hot water.

Cook on HIGH for 3½-4 hours, until the beans are tender. Season with salt to taste. (If you added parmesan cheese rinds, you may not require any salt).

The beans can be served as they are, as a soup. For a thicker soup, mash some of the mixture with a potato masher to thicken. Serve with crusty bread or in soup bowls over steaming rice. If cheese rinds are not used, serve with grated parmesan.

Serves 4 or more

A bacon bone could be used in this soup instead of pancetta. Remove it at the end of cooking, discard bone, fat and gristle, then shred the meat and return it to the slow-cooker.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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