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Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

Kim and Ben Dietrich grow coloured beans on their farm and began making gluten-free baking mixes for their family, using Ontario bean flour as the base ingredient. Thier middle son Jacob suffered a bad case of excema as an infant and they turned to a naturapath for some relief. They were then forced to put him on a strict wheat-free diet. This is where Kim learned to cook with bean flour. They also saw an opportunity to add value to their farm by sharing their products with consumers. While participating in local farmers' markets and food festivals, the couple listened to consumer concerns and needs. This helped them consistently improve their recipe development and packaging thus helping more gluten-sensitive people enjoy beans, bread, pancakes and cookies from ingredients that are grown, made and milled here at home in Ontario.

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Enjoyed by many cultures around the world for years, beans make wonderful main dishes, soups, salads, appetizers, snacks and even baked goods. They are also a great option for a gluten-free diet for many different health reasons with an added bonus of extra fibre. Beans contain both soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibres help lower blood cholesterol levels, while insoluble fibre helps with digestion and maintaining regular bowel movements. Fibre-rich foods like pulses are often more filling than other foods, helping to keep you fuller longer.
Italian Pasta and Bean Soup
Full of Beans won the Premiers Award of Agri-Food Innovation in 2011. Kim Dietrich also won an award for Woman of the Year in 2012 in Perth County for Agriculture.

Photo: Fareed Amin, Deputy Minister, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, with Kim and Ben Dietrich - regional award winners of the 2011 Premiers Award of Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

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