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Bacon, Bean et Garlic Soup

ingredients

serves 4
225 g (8 oz) lean smoked back bacon slices
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 celery stick, sliced thinly
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
700 ml (1 1/4 pints) 3 cups hot vegetable stock
200 g (7 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
about 400 g (14 oz) can cannellini beans, drained
1 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
salt and pepper
grated Cheddar cheese, to garnish

method

1. Chop 2 slices of the bacon and place in a bowl. Cook on HIGH power for 3 - 4 minutes until the fat runs out and the bacon is well cooked. Stir the bacon halfway through cooking to separate the pieces. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towels and leave to cool. When cool, the bacon pieces should be crisp and dry. Place the carrot, celery, onion and oil in a large bowl. Cover and cook on HIGH power for 4 minutes.

2. Chop the remaining bacon and add to the bowl with the garlic. Cover and cook on HIGH power for 2 minutes.

3. Add the stock, the contents of the can of tomatoes, the thyme, beans and tomato puree (paste). Cover and cook on HIGH power for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Season to taste. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the crisp bacon and grated cheese.

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