white bean and rosemary soup
It was still Summer in Israel just before I left to go to India, and it doesn’t cool down until at least late October. But I won’t complain because we had some coolish days to break the humidity….So you must think I was crazy to be making a soup in that sort of heat. But just before I left, I had been feeling a touch under the weather with a sore throat, so I really felt like something soothing, and was also hearty to feed the rest of my family. This also happens to be one of my daughter’s favorite soups in Winter. The original recipe came from my friend, Anna who found it in an old Italian cookbook she had. The original recipe has onion, sauted at the beginning, and garlic, sauted with oil and parsley, added at the end. I omitted both the onion and the garlic. I serve it with a big bowl of guacomole and sourdough parmesan toasts.
I always keep 2 cup measurements in zip lock bags of the pre-soaked beans in my freezer, ready to use. I also recently read that if you add a pinch of bicarbonate soda to beans while soaking, this helps to soften them.
White Bean and Rosemary Soup
2 cups of cannellini beans (pre- soaked overnight)
8 cups vegetable stock
4 carrots, roughly chopped (it is nice to keep them chunky)
4 sticks of celery(thinly sliced)
1 bunch of parsley and 2 sticks of rosemary, each about 10cm long (both tied together with kitchen string)
a big handful of finely chopped parsley
Place the beans, vegetable stock, carrots, celery, the tied parsley and rosemary in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Partly cover with a lid for 2 hours, or until beans are tender.
Take out the tied bunch of parsley and the rosemary twigs and puree about 1 to 2 cups of this mixture using a blender or food processor. Return the bean puree back to the saucepan. If it is too thick, you could add an extra cup of vege stock, but take care as you don’t want to lose the flavours. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the parsley, stirring. As the oil becomes hot and the flavour starts to meld, quickly take off heat and add this to the soup.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and add an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Shared goodness from Stacey