Friday, July 8, 2011

Rosemary White Bean Soup

I apologize for my tardiness on this post; I have been sick most of the week. Because of this I've barely cooked and/or painted furniture. However, I promise to post on my side board over the weekend. The progress is fantastic!

Lately, I've been dreaming of dried beans. Weird, I know. At any rate I've been really wanting to try cooking with dry beans. I blame my recent trip to colonial American hot-spots (these places are most often described this way I'm sure), Montecello and the Jamestown settlement. All of this historical touring had me thinking of how they survived the long winters without fresh food from their local Wegman's. Naturally, I thought mid-summer is the best time to indulge in this adventure. People I never claimed to make sense. Luckily, if you're reading this you are in my family or we're friends and therefore you are likely as weird as me.

Ok moving on.

So the recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, we're talking the throw-back book folks. I have many of her books and my girl Ina never lets me down. Here's the thing though, she's not exactly known for the healthiest food. As a matter of fact I like to think of her as the Long Island Paula Dean. BUT! This is actually healthy. Yipee!

You know the drill folks - here are the stars of our show.

White beans, unsalted chicken stock, olive oil, salt & pepper, garlic, a bay leaf, rosemary and 3 onions

There's something about soaking the beans overnight that made me feel so rustic. True story, I'm ridiculous. Bright side, the dried beans are so inexpensive it's a really affordable dish. 

Saute chopped onions until translucent - be sure to salt and pepper to taste

Dump in remaining ingredients 

Here's the hard part, cover the pot.
So you're beginning to see why this recipe is so ridiculous. Saute onions, dump in the rest of the grub and cover pot? You're probably thinking, "Amy why are you even posting this "recipe" this is so easy?" Well I have no answer for you other than I've been sick and I have a thing for soups all-year-round. Ok back to the show. 

Blend the cooked soup in small batches
This is important to stop here for a second. As someone who loves soup, A. I could use an emersion blender it's true. *hint hint* And B. be sure when blending hot liquids that you do so in small batches and I recommend taking the stopper off the top and covering with a rag as I did in the photo above. Otherwise you may get this: 

So as to prove I am not a total slacker when preparing dinner I prepared a summery chicken salad. 

For those of you keeping score at home I had the chicken salad and Joel had the open-faced sandwich. I'm glad we got that out on the table. The above is also a variation on a delicious Ina recipe - obviously I made this with low-fat ingredients and skinless boneless chicken. Holla if you want the recipe. It looks like your local Starbucks tarragon chicken salad. 

Ok back to the soup since this post is really about that. 

The finished product:

The soup was delicious. My one critique is in the future I would pay closer attention to the amount of rosemary I added because this could have used a bit more. Honestly, it may have been a product of using store-bought rosemary as I am sure fresh would have been better. Such is life. Hope you enjoy the soup! 

Rosemary White Bean Soup
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Serves 6 (or 7)

1 lb. dried white cannellini beans
4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
1/4 good olive oil (I used significantly less than this) 
2 garlic cloves (or a couple of heaping spoonfuls of already diced garlic)
1 large branch of fresh rosemary (6 or 7 inches)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight in water at least 1 inch above beans. Evidently, it's recommended you do this in the refrigerator, oops I didn't. Don't be like me. Drain. 
Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and turn heat to low for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until white beans are soft, about 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf and rosemary branch. Blend soup - either through a food mill, blender, food processor, any other creative method you're aware of. The soup should be coarsely pureed so don't go crazy here.  Texture is our friend. Serve hot. 

1 comment:

  1. You broke your promise... where is the side table post, Amy!? WHERE IS IT!?!!?

    This recipe looks great... as the owner of an immersion blender, I have to tell you, they're as fantastic as you might think they would be. You do have a birthday coming up, so maybe at Christmas I'll get you one. ;-)

    Can you send the chicken salad recipe... I'm always on the hunt for a good one and I LOVE the Starbucks Chicken Salad Sandwich.

    I made maple-bacon ice cream sandwiches this weekend... very healthy - let me know if you need that recipe... or if Joel does, I'm SURE Joel does, actually.