Monday, March 28, 2011

White Bean Soup with Pasta and Rosemary Oil

Yes, I'm realizing as I sit to write this that I've been adding a lot of soup recipes.  But they are so easy to make, homey and usually made with things I have in the pantry already. 

So, bear with me.  I promise to have something different next time.  And once lent is over, the chicken thigh recipes will resume.

The rosemary oil can me made ahead of time, strained and kept in a air-tight container.  It adds an herbal essence to the soup and adds a silky finish.  
 The original recipe called for using dried beans, but I didn't have the time.  So I used canned, which I think is fine for a soup.  If you want to use dried, they suggested covering the beans in boiling water while prepping the other ingredients. Then simmering them for about an hour.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt and continue cooking for about 30 more minutes until tender.

Adam loved it so much that he ate 3 bowls of it.  I think I might try freezing it in batches for a quick dinner for him.  He kept calling it "chicken" despite my attempts to tell him they were beans. 

I realized after I made the recipe that I forgot to add all of the liquid (originally it called for 3 quarts of water).  I like the thickness of the soup, so I'm keeping it the way I made it.

White Bean Soup with Pasta and Rosemary Oil
Serves 4

The Rosemary Oil

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary or 2 tablespoons dried
2 garlic cloves, sliced

The Soup

2 cups cannellini, navy, garbanzo beans or a mixture
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, with their juices
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 cup dried small pasta- shells, lumache or other favorite shape (I used fusilli)
Grated parmesan cheese

Slowly warm the extra virgin olive oil with 2 tablespoon rosemary and 2 garlic cloves until the garlic begins to color, about 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat and set aside until needed.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (not the rosemary oil) with 1 tablespoon rosemary (2 teaspoon dried) in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until the onion is softened and starting to turn color in places, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and parsley and cook for a few minutes more.  Add beans to the pot along with the tomatoes and stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Cook the pasta in boiling salt water, then drain.  Strain the rosemary oil.  Ladle the soup into bowls and add some pasta to each.  Drizzle some of the oil over each bowl and add pepper to taste.  Cover with shaves of parmesan. 

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