Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Rosemary White Bean Soup

Since the groundhog has predicted a longer winter, you'll have plenty of extra nights to cozy up with this easy and delicious soup. Ina Garten's soups are always simple, fresh, and tasty. This one might be my favorite. Be sure to have some crusty french bread and a green salad on hand.

1 pound dried white cannellini beans
4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft.

Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. (Or just use your stick blender!) Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

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