A Bean Soup for Soup Sunday

Cauliflower, Bean & Bacon Soup 2

Yesterday was our household’s first ‘Soup Sunday’. As part of our new Winter menu plan, we are using some of our extra weekend time on Sunday to make a big batch of soup. The plan is to eat it that night and freeze the other half in portions to eat for lunches or quick mid-week meals. However, last night we were faced with quite a few of my home grown mushrooms that needed to be used ASAP, so we made the soup, froze half for later and kept enough for tonights dinner in the fridge. For those who are wondering, we used the mushrooms in a pasta recipe that I will post later.

As for the soup, it is a very hearty, warming, Winter soup that is quite delicious. I just had some for lunch and I am not fussed at all about having it again for dinner tonight. It has beans, thyme and cauliflower, one of my favourite vegetables (I have quite a few!), but the thing that makes this soup so good is that it has bacon in it. Bacon makes anything taste good, right? Well I think it does anyway, that is why I loved Evelin’s idea of bacon wrapped bananas in the last TGRWT.

Although I love bacon, I didn’t like the amount that the original recipe called for – there was just as much bacon as cauliflower! So while I doubled everything else in the recipe to make a larger batch so there was some for the rest of the week, I left the bacon the same, effectively halving the amount of bacon. Fear not, the bacon flavour was still very much present, but this way it let the flavour of the thyme and cauliflower shine through.

The other good news is that this soup is actually low in fat, with less than 10g of fat per serve. Make sure you use short cut bacon rashers, trimmed of any visible fat otherwise the soup will tip over into the not-so-light category. And on top of all of this, each serve of this soup contains almost 3.5 serves of vegetables, getting you well on your way to 5 serves a day.

The original recipe comes from a soup feature in the June issue of Super Food Ideas which I have an inkling I may be returning to soon for more soup inspiration. I have given the recipe for the larger batch here as this is how I like to make soup, ensuring there is more to savour later on. If you are just making it for dinner and don’t want to freeze any just halve everything for a smaller batch.

Cauliflower, Bean & Bacon Soup (Serves 9)

Cauliflower, Bean & Bacon Soup

Heat 4Tbsp olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat and add 2 finely diced brown onions, 6 crushed garlic cloves, 500g chopped cauliflower florets and 250g chopped shortcut bacon rashers. Cook this, stirring, for around 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. At this point, you can remove some bacon to garnish with, but I skipped this step as I was freezing the soup and the bacon wouldn’t keep well whole.

Drain and rinse 4 x 400g cans cannellini beans. Add 3 cans to the pot, reserving the final can. Pour in 8C salt reduced chicken stock, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 6 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

Remove from heat and puree with a stick blender. You can use a food processor to puree the soup in batches if you don’t have a stick blender. Season with pepper (you shouldn’t need salt due to the bacon) and mix in 4Tbsp thyme leaves. Again, if you aren’t freezing the soup, reserve half the thyme leaves to garnish. Stir in reserved beans and return to a low heat to cook for 2 minutes or until hot.

Serve topped with bacon and thyme. To freeze, allow to cool, spoon into plastic containers, label and freeze for up to 2 months.

Why Should I Eat That?

As I’ve stated above, this soup contains around 3.5 serves of vegetables and is low in fat.

Legumes and beans, such as the cannellini beans in this soup are low GI carbohydrates, that is it takes longer for the body to break them down, therefore producing a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream. Put simply, they will keep you feeling fuller for longer and provide sustained energy, as well as keeping blood glucose levels more stable which is important for everyone, but especially people with diabetes. A food is said to be low GI if it is under 55 on the glycemic index, cannellini beans have a GI of 31.

Using the information on Calorie King I have put together the following nutritional information, this was not from the magazine.

Nutritional Information: (per serve)

Energy 1380.2kJ, Protein 20.8g, Fat (Total) 9.8g (Saturated) 2.1g, Carbohydrate (Total) 40.6g (Sugars) 8.5g, Dietary Fibre 13.4g, Sodium 1534.7mg, Calcium 83.8mg, Potassium 816.6mg. 3.49 serves of vegetables.

Printable Recipe

3 thoughts on “A Bean Soup for Soup Sunday

  1. I love making a big stockpot of soup to put aside for my lunches – I agree it is such a good way to get more veggies in your diet and to use up a few veggies at the bottom of the fridge – I am sure soup sundays will be a great tradition for you!

  2. Soup sundays sounds so good, at the moment I’m making soup every week as well. I find its healthier and cheaper than eating sandwiches for lunch everyday, and good to have around for the nights when my brother isn’t home and I have to cook for just me. I’m thinking of making this soup… is it safe for my picky older brother to eat?

  3. Johanna – I’m sure they will, this week has been great, there is always something for lunch without much effort.

    Fibo – It’s cheaper for sure (especially if you are buying sandwiches at ‘fancy fillings’ or ‘healthy habits’, do they charge your future first born for a salad sandwich or what?). Just remember your body still needs grains, so try to eat the soup with a couple of slices of grainy bread if you want to be really healthy.
    My brother won’t touch soup with a ten foot pole. I didn’t know this until I started soup sundays the other day. He had TWO frozen packet meals instead *rolls eyes*. As for anyone else, it has bacon in it, so that should be enough to tempt most people! and maybe go easy on the thyme (halve it) if he isn’t used to lots of herbs and spices. My only suggestion is to give it a try, if he doesn’t eat it it just means there is more for you!!

What do you think?