Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup

On a recent trip with the macrobiotic yogi, I stumbled upon a package of organic cannellini beans sitting on the shelf in a health food store. Hence this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans
  • 1 strip kombu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 8 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock (I used water, as I hadn't any stock on hand.  It was fine.)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Real Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped fresh kale, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Wash and sort cannellini beans, then soak overnight with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
  • In the morning, drain beans, and add kombu, water or stock, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Cook until tender: 1 to 1-1/2 hours on the stovetop or, as I do it, all day on low in the crockpot.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add to the cooked beans and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  • When ready to serve, add kale to simmering soup and cook until it has wilted, about 3 minutes.  Remove bay leaves; adjust seasoning. To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
My recipe was adapted from one by Betty Rosbottom, distributed by Tribune Media Services. She recommends pairing the soup with a green salad and offering a bowl of clementines and some biscotti for dessert.