Tuscan Bean Soup – Avoca Cafe Cookbook

Whilst I had the Avoca Cafe Cookbook out I decided to make up some soup for me this lunchtime (everyone else was out). Avoca don’t do small quantities of soup (or anything really) so this ended up being a vast vat of soup but my boys have a day off school tomorrow so Jon and the boys can have some for lunch tomorrow (I’ve wondered in the past whether to get soup flasks for the boys to vary their packed lunches and decided against because they lose so many things, now I’m going into an office more maybe I should get a soup flask for me).

The main thing I did differently was to add a whole tin of cannellini beans, half a tin seemed  a very small quantity of beans in this volume of soup. I do think it needed the whole tin. The soup was delicious.


  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 75g/3oz streaky bacon cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1.2 / 2 pts vegetable stock
  • 3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of sugar
  • 110g/4oz canned cannellini beans drained and well rinsed (I used a whole can)
  • 1 dessertspoon oregano


  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil for 10 minutes or until translucent
  2. Add the celery carrots and bacon and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
  4. Stir in stock and tomatoes. Season well, adding the bay leaf and sugar.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked but still al dente.
  6. stir in the beans and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and serve with croutons.

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