I recently visited the Quinta de la Rosa winery in Portugal's Douro Valley to make some minor tweaks to Tonnix, the rosé which I have created along with the chef Mitch Tonks. During the trip I visited a fantastic local butcher in the area who cures and smokes all his own meats, and bought a piece of smoked streaky bacon which provided me with the inspiration for this warming winter soup.
For this soup I have also used these tiny Italian soup pulses called zuppa veloce which consist of, among others, small brown lentils, Italian barley, split green and yellow peas, tiny white risini beans and tiny mung beans. A good Italian deli will stock a similar mixture, or you could simply make up your own combination from whatever you have available in your larder or store cupboard.
2ltrs chicken stock
A piece of smoked streaky bacon weighing about 100-120g, cut into rough 1cm chunks
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rough 1cm dice
1 leek, cut into rough 1cm rings and washed
A couple sticks of celery, peeled and chopped
A few leaves of cabbage, cut into rough 1cm squares
100g of tiny beans or zuppa veloce (see above)
2tbsp chopped parsley
Put the bacon into a pan with the stock and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the bacon is tender.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan and gently cook the onion, carrot, leek and celery for 2-3 minutes on a low heat without colouring.
Add the stock, bacon and pulses, season, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.
Add the cabbage and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, then stir in the parsley and simmer for a further 5 minutes.