Sunday, January 10, 2010

White Bean and Garlic Soup

'Tis the season for soup! This is simple, rustic, and tasty. Can be made ahead and/or frozen.

From The America's Test Kitchen Family Favorites Cookbook

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed (other white beans can be used, but these are best)
  • 4 ounces bacon, chopped (about 4 slices)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small head garlic, top third and loose paper skins removed and discarded
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • pepper
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
  • olive oil (optional)
  1. Bring beans and 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the rendered fat behind in the pot. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and drained beans to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
  3. Remove pot from heat. Add rosemary sprig, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Discard rosemary. Remove garlic and squeeze out the softened cloves. Mince the softened garlic and return to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, garnishing bowls with reserved bacon, parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil (if desired).
Serves 8

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