I don’t know about you, but growing up I used to love going to the Saturday matinee at the local movie theater near my house and spend an entire afternoon watching that week’s western-themed double-feature.
Those story lines that took the audience along the dusty trail of a cattle drive inevitably ended up around a twilight campfire with a bunch of cowpokes having a hearty supper of beans.
I got so hungry just watching them spoon out all that goodness that I would rush home during the closing credits and rummage through the cupboard for a can of pork-‘n’-beans — It’s what’s for dinner!
Over the years, my love of westerns has not diminished, nor has my desire for a tasty plate or bowl of beans — straight up with a vinaigrette, added to a bed of greens, or, my favorite, soup.
In honor of beans and bronco-busters, I thought I’d head into my own virtual chuck wagon and whip up a pot of soup straight out of the Lazy Person’s cookbook. With a nod to Hollywood director Mel Brooks, and for obvious reasons, this recipe is called Blazing Saddles Bean Soup.
Step-1: Submerge the dried Fagioli del Moro di Norcia (or any dried large, dark bean you have) in a bowl of cold water, cover and let soak for 12 hours before proceeding to Step-2.
Step-2: Coat the bottom of a large pot with Olive Oil and set on MEDIUM HIGH heat.
Step-3: Brown the Garlic Cloves then remove (or, follow Step-3 for Garlic Powder use).
Step-4: Add the Pancetta/Bacon cubes, chopped Red Onion, cubed Potato, Garlic Powder, Spicy Red Pepper Flakes and Salt; stir frequently until the Pancetta/Bacon browns (about 10 minutes).
Step-5: Drain the beans then add them to the pot along with the Red Wine and stir.
Step-6: Once the alcohol dissipates from the Wine add the Chicken Stock, stir and bring the mixture to a boil. At this point, you can also add a couple of Bay Leaves (Laurel) into the mixture to help reduce or eliminate the unwanted after effects of beans. 🙂
Step-7: Turn the heat down to LOW, cover the pot and low cook for approximately 2 hours.
Step-8: Turn off heat and, with the aid of a handheld blender or old-fashioned strainer, puree the mixture to a creamy consistency leaving a few of the pieces chunky for extra texture and appearance.
Step-9: Pour 3 ladles of soup into each bowl, drizzle a cross of Olive Oil over the top and serve with crunchy bread or top each bowl with a few croutons
Recommended wine pairing: Costadolio Rosato IGT – Maculan Società Agricolo, Breganze (VI), Italy
This light and lively rosé is made from 100% Merlot grapes. At 12.5% alcohol by volume, Costadolio Rosato IGT is intense with fruity aromas of peaches and lychee along with white flower petals. On the palate, it’s full-bodied and silky, with a lovely, lingering acidity.
Costadolio Rosato IGT pairs well pasta and risotto dishes along with grilled and roasted fish. Best served chilled at 10°C.
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