White bean and porcini soup.

I have had a pot of stock from when I cooked a Coorong angas corned beef sitting on the stove for a day waiting to get something more out of life. I cooked the beans in it for the heuvos rancheros in the last post. I am now going to stretch it further and make a white bean and porcini soup. The beauty of the Coorong corned beef is that it is not too salty so the cooking liquid can have other hopes and dreams.

I soaked about 300g of white beans and cooked them in the stock until the skins had softened and the inside was creamy. Towards the end of cooking I added a couple of potatoes for texture and about 20 grams of porcini, (I get to take home the broken bits in the bottom of the jar at work). I didn’t soak them just threw them in the soup as the potato cooked. I then blended the soup with a stick blender and seasoned it. For extra delicious luxury I mixed some of the porcini and truffle paste I keep in the fridge for just this kind of moment (and omelet and pasta moments) with some cream for the final flourish.

So nice and comforting on this freezing winter night.

I should say the reason I cooked corned beef is to try the Ruben sandwich from the he needs food blog, I thought my dad would like it since two of his favourite things are corned beef and sauerkraut (he added his own version of ‘mayonnaise’ though, I don’t recommend you do that).

Vegetable soup with cracked farro.

Something for the freaks (vegans) today. Well that is what I call my sister and she is fine with it. Farro is the Italian name for varieties of wheat used in cooking, it can be either spelt, emmer or einkorn which are all really old varieties. Above is cracked spelt, it is quite fine so it did not need much soaking before being cooked in the soup stock. I rinsed it a few times until the water ran clear and left it soaking while I chopped the vegetables.

For the soup I fried a sofrito of onion, garlic, carrot, leek and celery until just coloured but softened well. Then I added vegetable stock and the farro and simmered until the farro was cooked, only about 6 minutes. I then added some green vegetables, brussel sprout leaves, brocollini and zucchini and cooked them until still a bit crunchy. You can mix and match the vegetables to your liking. If you are not a freak and can’t stand the thought of a freak meal, go with diced pancetta in the sofrito, chicken or beef stock and shaved parmesan on top.

Now, I have discovered that a much better use for basil flowers (rather than just thrown on the garden bed to extend the life of the plant) is to eat them. They are delicious. I sprinkled them on top of this rather hearty yet healthy soup where they looked very pretty and tasted more delicate than young sweet basil leaves.