A can and a plan

 soup

While cooks eschew most canned vegetables and fruits, there is one canned item that should always have space in your pantry. Canned beans (aka pulses) like chickpeas, butterbeans, and pintos are versatile items that can help you get dinner on the table in no time flat. Even esteemed chef Yotam Ottolenghi is a fan of canned beans, and has provided several recipes to make the most of them

In the preface to his recipes, Ottolenghi sings the praises of canned beans. "A can of pulses is the best pantry friend you can have," he says. "Yes, there are other serious contenders for that title, but, for me, there is no other bagged, jarred or tinned food that offers such a headstart in creating a quick meal that tastes as if it has been cooked slowly, carefully and thoughtfully from 100% raw ingredients."

While he doesn't mention it in this article, there is one recipe in which Ottolenghi says you should never, ever use canned chickpeas: hummus. In a tweet, the chef says it would be "sacreligious" to do so. That tweet had some pushback, with many people declaring they thought the practice was fine. If you're among the latter group, don't worry - your secret is safe with me. 

Photo of The speedy soup: Chickpeas and cabbage soup (Zuppa di verza e ceci) from The Guardian Cook supplement

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