Hyacinth Beans & Pasta Soup
I have been busy spring cleaning. The rain and the wind did not help at all!:( And as I went through my drafts (there are a few of them) I came across this piece written during the height of the hyacinth bean season.
This recipe was inspired by Silvia Colloca’s hearty Pasta & Bean Soup. There’s an endearing quality about rustic one-pot meals. You do have a variation of the same with a little twist and a little change in the ingredients. So with mature hyacinth bean seeds I decided to create this meal. The only snag was the seeds needed to be skinned. I did it over a couple of days as something or the other was cooking or baking in my kitchen. So the beans were taken care of.
The recipe called for fresh pasta but I used the little stock that I had of store-bought ones. Instead of a chunk of pancetta, I used a chunk of smoked pork and so on. And I didn’t really measure everything but went by eye. There are many more herbs added but since I only had coriander (and basil for the garnish) I skipped adding coriander.
21/2 cups mature hyacinth beans, skinned
1 cup macaroni, cooked al dente
1/2 cup smoked pork, diced
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
1/2 cup freshly-made tomato sauce (I had made some earlier and I had left the tomato into chunky bits)
2 potatoes cut into cubes
2 carrots, diced
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
A dash of paprika
Basil for the garnish
With dried beans, the pre-soaking is necessary. But I used mature beans that were yet to be dried so the soaking was not needed.
Heat water in a large pan and add the beans, potatoes, carrots, smoked pork pieces, one chopped onion and a crushed clove of garlic.
Season with salt and cook till the liquid is reduced by half and the beans are cooked through.
Remove half of the beans to a bowl and mash the bean/potato mixture with the back of a ladle. If you want a finer texture you could use a blender for this. Pour the mashed portion back to the pan.
In another pan, heat some olive oil and fry the onions and garlic.Then add the tomato sauce and the rest of the seasoning. Cook for a few minutes.
Add the beans and check the seasoning. Make adjustments if that is required.
Add the grated cheese rind and the stock. Simmer on medium flame till it is slightly reduced.
Add the pasta and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Before serving, garnish with basil sprigs.
This is a filling soup particularly good during our colder season. That’s when hyacinth beans are widely available.