“Between soup and love , the first is better ” – I agree that it is a bit of an exaggeration, but soup definitely is the soul food for winter. Here is one hearty soup for perfect for a cold day. 5 minutes to get all the ingredients together in the pot and then let it simmer for an hour. By then the flavors blend together for that wonderful all day slow cooked feel. A hot bowl of comforting goodness for 5 minutes of hands on work !!! What is not to like about that .
Beans and lentils are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Now if prefer a vegan version – just omit the sausage and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Toss in some spinach leaves at the last minute for some added nutritional value.
A few cans of beans, chicken stock, various dried pasta these are very versatile pantry items. A can of beans offer much nutrition without and are low on calories. Dried beans are much lighter on the wallet, but these do require a little bit of planning. Dried beans need to be soaked for 8 to 10 hours in water before cooking. On the plus side beans can be cooked in double batches and the leftovers can be frozen or used in a few days.
Back to the recipe … Lets start with the prep work . Peel the pearl onions. Rub the outer skin off with fingers and place the onions in a bowl of water. Let the onions soak for a minute. It is much easier to peel the skin off after soaking. Chop the celery, and carrots into chunks and slice the sausage into 1/2 cm thick rounds. Slice the garlic thin.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan . When the oil gets hot add sliced garlic and the sausage. Let it brown a little on one side , about 1 minute. Turn the slices and brown the other side. Add the pearl onion and cook for a minute. Add the vegetables, tomato sauce and chickpeas. Stir everything together and add the chicken stock . Bring it to a boil.
There are a few options here, you could cover and simmer for 1 hour, transfer to your slow cooker and let it do the magic or even leave in a 300° F oven for an hour to finish cooking .
Taste , adjust salt . If you like to thicken the soup let it cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Scoop into serving bowls, garnish with bacon bits and fresh chopped parsley or a dollop of cream.