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Tuscan bean soup

by Charlotte Watts

Serves 4

2 tins mixed beans
2 cloves garlic
1 large red onion
4 rashers thin cut bacon, non-streaky (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube


  1. Drain and wash the mixed beans.
  2. Crush the garlic and finely slice the onion.
  3. If using, cut the bacon into small squares.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and if using bacon, add first and fry briefly. Then add the garlic and onion and fry for 10 minutes to soften the onion.
  5. Add the beans, mixed herbs, 1 litre of water and stock cube or the stock.
  6. Bring back to the boil, turn down the heat and then simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat.
  7. Serve in soup bowls and eat immediately.

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