Grandma Menna’s Kitchen: bean soup

In my family there are few strict rules that should be respected as law:

  1. don’t oversleep in the morning;
  2. during dinner, no cartoons! News channel or chat among us;
  3. cook beans with sage, chickpeas with rosemary.

If you ask mum why beans & sage and chickpeas & rosemary, she will tell you it’s always been so! Granddad Remigio used to make this coupling, Grandma Menna still does so.

Tuscan people really love beans: in every restaurant, from posh ones to cheap ones, from genuine taverns to touristic places, you’ll find beans as side dish. Beans and pulses in general are easy to recycle in other dishes, so today I’ll show you a good way to use leftover beans. Next week, another solution!

::::: BEAN SOUP :::::


  • Beans
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sage
  • Tomato sauce
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper

I won’t give you quantities, as you can make this recipe by sight.

Puree boiled beans. You can use an electric blender or a classic vegetable mill: if you are making a soup for a child, it’s better if you use a vegetable mill as, doing so, you won’t incorporate air into the soup and you will avoid the risk to cause colics to this poor child. You can help yourself pureeing beans with some cooking water, according to the density you prefer.

Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan with some sage leaves and a clove of garlic. When the garlic is golden and has given its flavor to the olive oil, pour in pureed beans into the pan and add 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce: your beans will be pretty pink!

Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Let cook until beans will be flavored by olive oil and garlic and tomato will loose its raw taste. You can eat bean soup as it is, or you can boil short pasta in it, rice or spelt (I prefer spelt!).

If you have leftover bean soup, fill up plastic bottles (not to their maximum capacity, otherwise they will explode into the freezer) and freeze them. When you’ll feel like bean soup, thaw it and it will be ready to warm you during next autumnal evenings.

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