Friday, February 26, 2010

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

No, this recipe isn't from Everyday Food or even Real Simple magazine, rather it is from one of Giada De Laurentiis' cook books "Giada's Kitchen", which I'm borrowing from our friends Joel and Katie. The soup turned out to be much thinner than I thought, which was a good thing because it meant the soup was lighter and less substantial (which I loved). And grilling the bread was such a good idea. I've never done it before, but I'll definitely remember this technique. My husband would suggest putting the bread in the bowl and pouring the soup over it, in his words it was "a very special experience".

For the Soup:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
2 sage leaves
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (or halved, either way is fine)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half (she uses 1/2 cup heavy cream)
dash of course salt
dash of fresh ground pepper

heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add butter, oil and shallots and saute until shallots are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add sage leaves, beans and garlic and stir. Add chicken broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes or until garlic is tender. Puree half of the soup in a blender (make sure to get the sage leaves in there) and add it to the soup in the pot. Turn the heat to low and add the half and half and salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes on low heat to allow the flavors to marry. Garnish with chopped, cooked bacon and/or sage leaves.

To grill the bread:
cut panna bello or ciabatta bread into slices and drizzle with olive oil.
Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Grill the bread for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown grill marks appear.



Toasted flax seeds
Chopped toasted walnuts
Feta cheese
Red wine vinaigrette

Toss it all in a bowl and eat it up.

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