• Vegetable and bacon soup with ricotta dumplings

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 mins plus 1 hour for soaking beans


    • 250g fresh ricotta
    • 125ml (½ cup) Parmesan, finely grated
    • 10ml (2 tsp) fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 75g cake flour, sifted
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 rashers bacon, chopped
    • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
    • 200g (1 cup) dried borlotti beans, soaked
    • 700g ready-made tomato purée
    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 1,5 litres chicken stock
    • freshly ground black pepper



    To make the ricotta dumplings, place the ricotta, Parmesan, marjoram, egg and flour in a bowl and mix well to combine. Turn out onto a floured surface and divide in 2. Roll into 2 x 20cm long “ropes”. Cut into 2cm lengths, cover and set aside.


    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bacon, carrot and celery and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.


    Add the borlotti beans, tomato, water and 1 litre of the stock and cook until the borlotti beans are tender, about 1 hour.


    Add the remaining stock and the dumplings, cover and cook until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir through black pepper to serve.


    To quick-soak beans or chickpeas, place in a large, deep saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and stand for 1 hour. Drain, rinse and use according to the recipe method.