Origin: various recipes on the internet
As I understand it, the basic recipe is:
- Soften vegetables
- Add chicken stock, beans (dried; soaked overnight and rinsed) and ham
- Simmer for a few hours until the beans are tender
- Add seasonings
- Mash or blend
I fried some streaky bacon (4 rashers) in plenty of olive oil, then set this aside, added 4 onions and 3 sticks of celery chopped and softened them. I then added some chicken stock to cover (homemade, see an earlier entry on this blog, the soaked beans (500g), 150g of chopped ham, and simmered for about 2 hours. I then roasted a tablespoon of cumin seeds, pounded them in a pestle and mortar and added that, along with some salt and cayenne pepper, to the soup. Cooked for another 10 minutes. Finally, I partially pureed it using an electric hand blender. This left some whole beans as well as some roughly and finely pureed bits, a nice combination of textures.
In my opinion, it's best served with a slice of lemon in the bowl.