American bean soup

Prep: 20 minutes, plus overnight soaking time for the beans
Cook: about 1 ½ hours
Makes: about 8 ¼ cups or first-course servings

§ 450g dry white beans (cannelloni, haricot or similar); 2tbsp olive oil;
§ 1 medium onion, chopped; 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped;
§ 1 medium celery stalk, chopped;
§ 2garlic cloves, finely chopped
§ 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock;
§ 170g chunk ham (or chicken ham), cut into ½ -inch pieces (about 1 cup);
§ 1 chicken stock cube (if using chicken ham); 1tsp jeera (cumin) powder; 1tsp paprika; salt to taste;
§ ¼ tsp ground black pepper; 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped;
§ 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped;
§ 2tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Rinse beans under cold running water; pick out and discard stones and shrivelled beans. Place in a bowl with enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover and let beans stand at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse.
2. In 4-littre saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 8-10 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add carrot, celery and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring .
3. Add stock and beans (and stock cube, if using) to saucepan in which vegetables are simmering; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until beans are tender. Stir in ham, jeera, paprika, salt, pepper. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
4. Top serve, lable soup into 8 bowls; top with tomatoes, parsley and lemon juice.

Tushar Mangl

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