Sunday, March 11, 2012

White Bean Soup

Here's a second recipe putting my homemade vegetable stock to good use.  Substitute store-bought broth if you haven't made the stock.  The ingredients below should certainly be looked at as a template, since just about any veggies would taste good in this homey soup; swap Swiss chard or any other leafy green for the kale, depending upon your preference.

  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped and peeled potato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 (16-ounce) drained can cannellini beans
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional for garnish)
1. Remove the white papery skin from the garlic, but do not peel or separate the cloves.  Brush the garlic with 1 teaspoon olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then separate the cloves and squeeze out the pulp.  Discard the skins.

2. Heat the remaining 3 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and salt; saute for 5 minutes.  Add the carrot, potato, celery, rosemary, and tomato paste; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the Vegetable Stock and cannellini beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

4. Stir in the roasted garlic pulp and the kale; simmer for a final 10 minutes, until the kale is tender.  Stir in the lemon juice and black pepper.  Ladle into soup bowls, and sprinkle evenly with the parsley for a nice pop of fresh color and taste, if desired.

Crostini made a great accompaniment to this soup.  Try toasted sourdough bread with creamy cheese on top - I love the soy bleu from Veg Cuisine (formerly Sunergia), but you could also try with homemade vegan goat cheese or more savory toppings like tomatoes and herbs.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (2 cups), Calories 242

Tasting Notes:
This soup made me think of something I'd get as the first course at a family-style Italian restaurant; very homey and warming.  I would omit the lemon juice next time, since stirring it in right at the end detracted from the flavors I was hoping for - the sweet roasted garlic and the savory tomato paste.  I also would add more white beans and more kale next time, for a jam-packed bowlful.


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