I sang praises for Ina Garten (a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa) on my previous blog. I just love her style of cooking, it’s very Provencal, lots of herbs and really flavorful ingredients. Her recipes are also pretty simple, you don’t need to have lots of crazy ingredients you’ve never heard of on hand.
This Rosemary White Bean Soup begged for me to make it. I’m pretty much in love with rosemary and this soup does not disappoint. It is so comforting, it’s velvety and rich, the perfect soup for a cold, winter evening.
- 1 pound dried white cannellini beans
- 4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.
You could easily substitute canned white beans of any variety (I used small white beans instead of cannellini), if you don’t want to spend the time soaking your beans.
I really love the extra touch of the homemade croutons with soup, it adds some texture. Cut any bread you have on hand into large cubes (I used a couple hot dog buns), toss with a little olive oil and add salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Spread on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until crisp, 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees depending on the size of your croutons. Keep a close eye on them.