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Haricot Bean and Pasta Soup

ingredients

serves 4
250 g (8 oz) generous 1 cup dried haricot beans, soaked, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
425 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp tomato puree (paste)
900 ml (1 1/2 pints (3 1/2 cups) water
90 g (3 oz) small pasta shapes, such as fusilli or conchigliette
125 g (4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced thinly
1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro), or flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

method

1. Put the soaked beans into a large pan, cover with cold water and bring them to the boil. Boil rapidly for 15
minutes to remove any harmful toxins. Drain the beans in a colander.

2. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until they are just beginning to change colour. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 further minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, oregano and the tomato puree and pour on the water. Add the beans, bring to the boil and cover the pan. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the beans are almost tender.

3. Add the pasta, season the soup and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Return the soup to the boil, partly
cover the pan and continue cooking for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is nearly tender.

4. Stir in the chopped coriander (cilantro) or parsley. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

5. Transfer to a warmed soup tureen to serve. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve hot.

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