Thick Country Soup
I say thick, because you could stand your spoon up in this one! If you prefer it a little thinner, just add more liquid, to your taste.
This recipe is from Delia's Frugal Food. Serves 6-8
First, put the beans into a saucepan with 3 pints (1.7 litres) of cold water, bring to the boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Then turn the heat off, put a lid on and leave on one side for about an hour, to soak.
Towards the end of that time, heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and bacon together for about 10-15 minutes.
Now return to the soaked beans and bring them back to the boil with the lid on and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Then, using a draining spoon, scoop out about half the beans and transfer them to an electric blender.
Measure and add a pint (570 ml) of their cooking water and blend until smooth; then pour this on to the softened vegetables and add the remaining whole beans and their cooking water together with the prepared leeks, courgettes, cabbage, basil and a further pint (570 ml) of water.
Bring it all to the boil, add the tomato puree and sprinkle in the rice.
Stir well, then cover and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
Finally, taste and season well with salt and pepper.