November 6, 2009

white bean soup

Comforting soups are making a comeback in our weekly menu now that the cooler fall temperature is here once again. It's just the right time to try this easy white bean soup recipe. I was looking for dried cannellini beans at the grocery that I intended to use for this but I had no luck finding them. I was happy to find these dried great northern beans instead which were a very good substitute. I soaked the dried beans in water overnight then rinsed them well the next morning. I precooked them in plenty of water until they were almost tender. There's no need to fully cook the beans since they will continue to cook in the soup. In a little olive oil, brown a cup of thinly sliced sausages in a heavy soup pot or casserole. Then add chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook them together for a few minutes. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white wine and continue to simmer. Next, add about 4 cups of chicken broth. Additional chicken bouillon may be added for more chicken flavor then season with salt and pepper according to taste. Add the white beans, stir and simmer until beans are tender. Add minced garlic, a little lemon juice and chopped fresh parsley. Some of the beans may be pureed in a food processor or blender to thicken the soup but this step is optional. Serve with crispy garlic bread (to be posted next) and garnish the soup with additional chopped parsley. The white beans are delicious with a naturally creamy flavor and texture.

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