Pork and Bean Soup

This is one of those thick, full-of-goodness, nourishing soups which relies on plenty of time in order for it to come out right – don’t skimp, even if you leave it bubbling for a whole day or night you will only be making it even tastier. Add the oil just before you serve as it should not cook, but should cool and flavour the soup.


  • 400 g (14 oz) dried broad beans
  • 400 g (14 oz) small pork chops
  • 300 g (10 oz) Italian pork sausages
  • 300 g (10 oz) pork belly
  • olive oil
  • a large pinch of mixed dried herbs
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ small cabbage, shredded
  • ½ fennel bulb, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed


Soak the beans overnight, then wash them. Put in a large pan, cover with water and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Drain and wash them, then cut each one through the skin, making a slit in each bean on one side only. Set aside.

Cut all the meats into small chunks and put in a deep flameproof casserole with a little olive oil. Fry gently together until slightly browned, then add the herbs, tomatoes, celery, onion and carrot. Pour over 3 litres (5 pints) of water and bring to a slow, steady simmer.

When the vegetables are fairly tender, add the broad beans and all the remaining vegetables. Stir well, then cover and cook for another 2½ hours at a slow simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil and serve with plenty of coarse country-style bread.