Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tuscan white bean and garlic soup


2 T butter
2 T olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
2 shallots, minced
2 sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried sage
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, pancetta and the shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is beginning to brown and the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 1/3 of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pan. Puree the remaining soup. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add the cream and the pepper and keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

Serve the soup, piping hot in heated bowls.

Serving suggestion: Brush some thick slices of crusty Italian bread with olive oil and toast until golden brown. Drizzle each serving of soup with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Chef's note: You may choose to not puree a portion of the soup to give it a more rustic texture. Either way, this soup is comfort in a bowl.

Serves 4 to 6

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