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White Bean Soup

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Categories: Comfort Foods, Vegetarian
Type: Soups and Stews

This thick soup from northern Italy is guaranteed to keep out the winter chills

Prep Time: 30M, plus soaking

Cooking Time: 2H

Serves: makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8oz ( 225g) dried cannellini beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 or 4 parsley stems
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 2oz ( 60g) pancetta, chopped (optional)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3oz ( 85g) Italian fontina or taleggio
White Bean Soup photo

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Directions:

  1. Soak the beans in cold water to cover overnight. Drain.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the drained beans, stock, celery, parsley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer about 11/2 hours, stirring, or until the beans are very tender. Stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Remove the bay leaf. In batches, with the lid ajar, purée the soup in a blender. Return to the pan and season. Keep warm.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta (if using) and cook, stirring, 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the shallots and cook 3 minutes, until softened.
  6. Trim off any rind from and dice the cheese. Stir into the soup. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with the pancetta mixture. Serve hot.
Tips:
  • soak the beans overnight to rehydrate them
  • Prepare ahead: The soup can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Add stock to thin.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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