Tuscan White Bean Soup (from Didi Emmonds’s Vegetarian Planet)
- 1lb. white navy beans
- 4T. olive oil
- 3 leeks, both green and white parts, chopped (or 3c. chopped onions)
- 5 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 1/2c. carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored, trimmed, and chopped
- 5c. water or stock
- 1 1/2t. chopped fresh rosemary, or 1t. dried
- 1/2-1t. ground fennel seed (optional)
- 1t. salt, or more, to taste
- 2T. lemon juice
- parmesan or asiago cheese, grated
- 6 small pieces of bread
Prepare your beans, using either the overnight or quick soak method.
Get your ingredients washed and ready (I’ll have a fennel and leek guide below, in case they’re foreign to you).
Saute the leeks in 2T. olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, and fennel. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the water or stock, beans, and herbs. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, covered.
Using an immersion blender to puree a portion of the soup. (Or ladle 3c. of soup into a blender and puree. Return puree to pot.) Correct the seasonings to taste, and add the lemon juice.
Pan fry the bread in the remaining olive oil and float atop the soup in each bowl (or serve on the side). Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 6.
YUM! This soup has a lighter flavor, but is really filling. When I was first cutting the fennel I was a little worried, since it smelled so strongly of anise (black licorice). Luckily, fennel sauted or souped or whatever doesn’t take licorice-y at all! I’m not really sure what the fennel taste was, but it sure was delicious! Definitely a repeat recipe!
What to do with a leek:
Wash the leek thoroughly. I actually pulled off an outer layer, as it was falling off. Slice off the top “leaf” portion and the bottom root. Use the white and light green portion, stopping before the “leaves.”
All three parts:
The part to use:
What to do with a fennel bulb:
Wash the fennel bulb thoroughly. Slice off the fronds and the hard bottom. Peel off the layers until you get to the center core. Discard the core. Slice the layers.
All three parts:
The core to discard:
What soups have you been eating lately?