Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Giada's Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup


Anyone ever overcook your dried beans? I mean, REALLY overcook them? I like to cook up big batches of dried beans, then freeze them in 15 oz portions to match cans of beans. Of course, my last batch of white beans got incredibly mushified (not a real word) ....which I don't know how. Maybe I was doing too many things at once and forgot about the pot on the stove. (imagine that!)

The beans were already almost falling apart when I put them into the freezer bags, so I knew I would have to be pretty picky with how I used them up. They weren't sturdy enough to throw in a salad, but the perfect consistency for soup.

When I saw this recipe in my latest library book find, I decided to finally get rid of those mushy beans!

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
from Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites
4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots chopped
2 sage leaves, stems removed
2 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, cannellini beans, and garlic and sir to combine. Add the chicken broth to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently until the garlic is softened, about 15 minutes.

Pour half of the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle a third to half of the soup from the bowl into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when they are blended.)

Pour the blended soup back into the pot and repeat with the remaining soup from the bowl. Once all the soup is returned to the soup pot, stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.

The verdict?
This was a very simple soup which would have been better paired with a big 'ol hearty sandwich than with the wimpy salads we had. So we didn't get too full, but the flavor was good, and the texture was very calm and creamy.

My son actually inhaled this, which we couldn't figure out why since his appetite is so hit-or-miss, so he was a huge fan of this soup! Who would have thought a 2 year old would love creamy bean soup? I saved the leftovers, but it never made a return visit for lunches. Oh well!

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking 

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