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)
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.