Tuesday, February 16, 2010

White Bean Soup

I am quite fond of soup, I think I have mentioned this before. Soup makes everything better, it makes your house smell good and pairs perfectly with fresh bread. Which is why my friend and I are supposedly going to write a book on soup, a sort of cross cultural, through the ages look at soup with some recipes thrown in for good measure. This bean soup is really simple, it only has 6 ingredients, so each flavor really comes through. Also, only blending some of the beans gives is a great creamy texture AND it gave me an excuse to use my immersion blender, which as we all know is super exciting (it is fire engine red after all). I think I may need to get married just so I can register for kitchen gadgets.... that and you know, true love and all that jazz.

Start with dried cannellini beans, soak them overnight. It is really helpful if you remember to do that step before you go to bed, otherwise you may have to creep downstairs at one in the morning to do it.

Take your soaked beans and drain them, then add the chicken stock.

Let the beans and stock simmer together for a few hours, or until the beans are done. When they are tender take your immersion blender and blend away, but not too much, you want to leave about half of the beans unblended (you could always do this in the blender too). Then bring the soup to a boil and add some pasta.

Now grab some garlic. Chop it up.

Throw it in a pan with some olive oil so that good garlic flavor infuses the oil and so that it cooks before you add it to the rest of the soup.

Stir the garlic and olive oil into the rest of the soup. Let it all hang out together on the stove for a bit. Now is the perfect time for wine time.

Serve it up and enjoy.

White Bean Soup (from Italian Cooking)
Serves 4
1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
7 cups chicken stock
4 oz. soup pasta (I used ditalini)
6 tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
salt and pepper

Drain the beans and put them in a heavy-bottom pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil, partially cover, lower heat and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
Blend about half the beans, either in a blender or with an immersion blender.
Bring the soup to a boil and add the pasta, cooking for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is done.
Meanwhile heat 4 tbs. of olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic, cooking over low heat until golden.
Add the garlic, and parsley to the soup, salt and pepper as needed.
Serve, drizzling the remaining olive oil over the soup.

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