Friday, March 11, 2011
Italian White Bean Soup
What is my favorite thing to cook? My answer is almost always SOUP.
I love to make soup. Soup is something that is soothing and will last me more one night (these days I am finding it hard to make food that produces leftovers, too hard).
My go-to soup recipe usually has:
-an aromatic base (onions, garlic, etc...in this case it is fennel)
-then just a vegetable and liquid overload of heaven
-I love to add leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard...)
-and some sort of grain (rice, pasta, barley...)
This Italian White Bean soup has no grains in it, however I purchased some gorgeous levain (French Sourdough) bread from a local bread company called Acme to go along with the soup. This soup is simple and that's that. I don't cook collards enough, and this was a great way to get my collards fix. I always like to finish off my soups with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some salty hard cheese. Mmm.
Oh and please try to find some San Marzano tomatoes. These precious rubies are to die for. Really, the taste is just so fresh and rich.
Italian-style soups are great. I have been slapping myself to make a lovely Ribollita soup and a nice Italian Wedding Soup. One of these days I will get there...
For now...Italian White Bean Soup...
Italian White Bean Soup
from A Couple Cooks
1 fennel bulb
2 bunches of greens (anything like collards, chard, kale, spinach, mustard greens...)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 cans of white cannellini beans
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling
Pecornio Cheese, slivered and/or grated on top
Fresh Levain Bread, for dipping and/or slathering with soft salty butter
1. Chop the fennel bulb into a large dice. Wash the greens, remove the stems, and chop them roughly.
2. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute the fennel for 5 minutes.
3. Add the 2 cans tomatoes with their juices and simmer for about 8 minutes.
4. Add 4 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water, and 2 cans of cannellini beans. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer and add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1 teaspoon salt.
6. Add the greens and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Served garnished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, grated pecornio, and sliced levain bread.