My husband has a number of recipes which he loves to make, but his favourite and mine is his famous Bean Soup. He used to make it as a bachelor because the ingredients were relatively inexpensive, was easy to make and tasted great. Although the selection of beans change every time he makes this soup, the onions, garlic, tomatoes and swiss chard remain consistent, as well as his secret ingredient — Patak's curry paste. In fact, for the first few years we were married, he would't even let me in the kitchen when he made his Bean Soup, for fear I'd discover the recipe's elusive flavour and would be able to make the soup without him. No fear of that — this is his 'baby' and I always look forward to him making a big batch to stock our freezer for months to come. Delicious with a little grated pecorino on top for extra zing, this soup is sensational.
Guy's Famous Nine-Bean & Tomato Soup with Pancetta and Swiss Chard
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
3 tbsp olive oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp Patak's curry paste
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
2 19 oz can six bean mix, drained
1 19 oz can black beans, drained
1 19 oz can green broad beans, drained
1 19 oz can lentils, drained
12 cups homemade or purchased chicken stock
1 bunch swiss chard, trimmed, stalks removed and chopped
In a large pot, sauté the diced onion, pancetta, garlic, curry paste and chili flakes in olive oil over medium-high until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes with the juice, and stir to combine with the onion mixture. Cook for 15 minutes, then add all of the beans followed by the chicken stock and swiss chard. Increase the heat to high until the stock just starts to bubble, then turn it down to low and cover for 20 minutes. "Done...easy-peasy," Guy says. This soup freezes beautifully, and with the quantity it makes, you'll have lovely soup for weeks to come.