Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
75 g dried black turtle beans (or black-eyed beans)
75 g dried borlotti beans or kidney beans
75 g dried cannellini beans or haricot beans (or 2 x 400g of canned beans of your choice, rinsed and drained)
8 rashers smoked bacon (about 300g , sliced into lardons)
2 tblsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes (or 800g fresh tomatoes)
1.2 l chicken stock
225 g cabbage (preferably green, such as savoy, thinly sliced)
300 g smoked sausages (sliced into 5mm thick pieces)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
If using dried beans, soak them in cold water for 5-6 hours or overnight, then drain, cover with fresh cold water and simmer for 35-40 minutes until they are cooked through.
Gently fry the bacon in the olive oil in a flame proof casserole on a medium high heat for a few minutes until golden-brown. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, then add the tomatoes and the stock and simmer for ten minutes.
Add the cooked, drained beans, then add the cabbage and sliced sausage and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.