Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuscan Bean Soup



Well today was the first try on the recipe Tuscan Bean Soup, a very humble dish with simple ingredients which actually on first view appears to be bland but is a very good marriage of flavors. I have had this recipe on my list for a few weeks now, and it always got replaced whether it was subconscious or not I'm not sure but I took the challenge tonight. From start to end it took about 40 mins which is not bad for a week night dish (at least in my house). This was originally planned to be served with a green salad but hubby came home late and we just had the soup. Soup is usually on our menu at least once a week during winter and I think we've tested and tasted at least 20 new recipes this winter, so needless to say I'm looking forward to Spring (March 21st) to officially hibernate these recipes.


In the meantime Bon Appetit !

Tuscan Bean Soup via Cooking Light with my amendments (yes there are a few)

  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  chopped prosciutto or ham (about 2 ounces) I used thick slices of pancetta cut into tiny cubes, thought that prosciutto may have been too salty
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 3/4  cup  chopped celery I omitted this as I love raw celery but I'm not a fan of it cooked
  • 3/4  cup  chopped carrot
  • 1  garlic clove, minced Upped this to 3 cloves as we love garlic
  • 1  cup  water
  • 2 1 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, undrained - I used 1 and this was largely enough for 4-6 servings, can't imagine using 2 cans and I drained the beans
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 1  (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth - I used homemade chicken stock
  • 2  tablespoons  minced fresh parsley
  • 2  tablespoons  sherry (optional) believe it or not I don't have this at home so I substituted balsamic vinegar and it was excellent
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • My add on - Grated Parmigiano cheese it thickened the sauce and it just rounded out the taste

Preparation

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the prosciutto, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes or until soft.
Add the water, beans, bay leaves, and broth, and bring soup to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer soup for 20 minutes.
Add the parsley, sherry, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Discard bay leaves.

(Serves 4 -6) 

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