Monday, July 26, 2010

Meatless Monday: White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Garlic Crostini

Divas, did you know that beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet?  They even straddle two food groups - they have enough protein to be classified as a meat and enough nutrients to be classified as a vegetable.  That's impressive!  They're also packed with iron and calcium, making them a great meat and dairy substitute.

Cannellini beans have to be one of my favorite varietals.  Also known as white Italian beans and kidney beans, I love them for their mellow nutty flavor.  For this simple soup, I soak the beans overnight and then simmer them in water until tender (canned beans may be used in a pinch).  Them, I puree half of them with vegetable stock into a creamy broth and add the other half of intact beans, creating a rustic soup.  I serve this soup with garlic bread.  Add a green salad, and you have the perfect lunch or dinner. 

White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Garlic Crostini
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 20 minutes (not including soaking and simmering beans)
Print Recipe

Ingredients
3 cups cooked Cannelini beans (canned beans may be substituted - make sure to drain and rinse them with cool water)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stem
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from stem
2 sprigs oregano, leaves removed from stem
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper

garlic crostini
4 slices of baguette
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove
4 sprigs rosemary

Directions
Place half of the beans (1 1/2 cups) into a blender or food processor.  Add the herbs, olive and stock.  Process until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a stock pot and stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of beans.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices.  Then, drizzle with the olive oil and rub with the garlic clove.  Top with a fresh rosemary sprig.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.  Top with a garlic corstini and drizzle with olive oil.  Finish with a little cracked black pepper.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
dried cannellini beans from Bob's Red Mill (Whole Foods)

organic herbs from my herb garden

organic vegetable stock, organic garlic and baguette from Trader Joe's 

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