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Rustic Minestrone Soup.

  • 6 ounces streaky bacon,
  • Medium size cauliflower,
  • Medium size onion, yellow or spanish, according to your taste,
  • Large can cooked cannelini beans,
  • 1/4 pound spaghetti,
  • 2 - 3 medium sized tomatoes,
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese, or more if you like,
  • Crushed garlic - as much as you like,
  • Chicken stock cube.
Sorry, no picture - usual story, it got eaten.
First a word about bacon. There's seems to be some kind of conspiracy regarding bacon in the US; some of it has mysteriously disappeared! In European shops that sell bacon, you are generally offered at least three choices of cut. There's back bacon, which is the best, and has a lot of lean. You can sometimes get it in US supermarkets, where it's described as Irish bacon. Then there's centre-cut bacon, which is about half and half meat and fat. Just yesterday I found some in our local supermarket, but it's the first time I've seen it. Then there's streaky bacon, which is mostly fat, and is what's generally known as bacon in the US. Yanks, stand up for your rights! Ask your provider what happened to the rest of the bacon. Perhaps the Canadians or the Mexicans get it, to your disadvantage. For this recipe you can use the cheap streaky bacon.

Chop the bacon accross its length into about half inch strips, and chop the onion medium fine. Fry the bacon a little first to release some fat, then fry both over a medium heat until the bacon starts to be crispy, and the onions brown.

Break up the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, and roughly chop the tomatoes. Break the spaghetti into lengths about an inch and a half long. Depending how solid you like your soup, you can use more or less spaghetti. Boil the cauli and spaghetti for about 12 minutes, by which time both should be cooked. Then add the beans, tomato, stock cube, and the fried bacon and onions, fat and all, and of course as much crushed garlic as you like. Bring back to the boil, and cook for another five minutes, Finally season to taste, and stir in the parmesan. Once again, serve with good crusty bread.

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