Friday, June 7, 2013

Soup series, 3: Stephanie Smee presents pasta e fagioli soup

This is a recipe I’ve made many times over the years, which is delicious in this cooler weather. It certainly makes the house smell good as it burbles away on the stove...

Pasta e fagioli according to the boys at Café Sopra at Fratelli Fresh

60 g butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
(I add 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped and a bay leaf)
6 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, finely chopped (today I used a tin of chopped roma tomatoes)
A ham hock which I got my butcher to cut in half for me
1.5 litres of chicken stock
250 g podded borlotti beans
100g short tube pasta or other small soup pasta
Parmesan to serve

 Heat butter in a large heavy based saucepan, and sauté your onions/carrots/celery/garlic and bay.
Do this slowly and make sure they don’t burn.
Add tomatoes, cook for a couple of minutes, then add ham hock and stock. Simmer gently for 2 hours.
 Remove hock from soup, cool slightly and shred meat. Skim off any excess fat from the soup.
Add ham meat, beans and pasta back to soup and cook for seven minutes until pasta is al dente and beans are tender.
 Stir in herbs and serve with parmesan/pepper.
 I serve with toasted crunchy bread rubbed with half a clove of raw garlic. Yum!

Stephanie Smee has written several bestselling translations of the Countess de Segur's classic French children's books. This year in September will appear her translation of the Countess' General Dourakine, a sequel to A Room at the Guardian Angel Inn, which was published last year . All the books are published by Simon and Schuster Australia.

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