Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rosemary White Bean Soup

I am in full nesting mode around here. As of today, the baby is coming in 3 weeks, 6 days ... and that means I've got some cooking to do. (Even as I'm updating this, I'm boiling water for the two pans of baked ziti that will be saved for later meals.)

Tom calls it "doomsday prepping" -- while I call it 'good thinking' to be stockpiling meals and freezing just about anything that moves and can be thawed and edible again, and entering said meals into a spreadsheet so I can find them in easily in the deep freezer or regular fridge-freezer. (And it fits perfectly with my planning Virgo personality)
So while I'm freezing most of this soup for now, I had enough left over that just wouldn't fit in my freezer bags for my lunch (funny how that happens). It's rustic Tuscan at its best - simple and lets the flavors of the beans shine. 

Rosemary White Bean Soup 
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 pound dried white cannellini beans
4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry sherry
1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)
1 bay leaf
2 quarts vegetable/chicken stock
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle of good oil and/or crisped bacon/pancetta, optional

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, sauté the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the dry sherry and cook until most of the moisture is gone, about 5-7 minutes.  Wrap rosemary and bay leaf in cheesecloth bundle and add to pot along with drained white beans and stock. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf bundkle. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve hot drizzled with olive oil and crumbled, crisped bacon.

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