Speaking of infectious recipes, I caught this one from my friend Noel, who served this delicious soup to us last weekend for a light and quick pre-theater dinner. I consider it more than payback for giving him my husband’s recipe for sauteed kale.
When he gave me the recipe, Noel insisted that I had to make the soup using an immersion blender, a kitchen gadget I’d been resisting buying for a long time. When I asked why it was so critical, he used those four words that can make anyone buy anything – “It changed my life”. Now before you think I’m a sucker for hyperbole, you need to know that Noel is one of the most understated people I know. So to hear him use these words – well, I knew the time had come to give in to the immersion blender trend.
So now I can say it too – My immersion blender has changed my life.
I wonder how I ever made pureed soups without it. Actually, now that I’ve used this, it’s clear that what I was calling pureed was pure grit compared to the silky texture I am getting with this little baby. And it’s not even one of the better immersion blenders, just the cheapest I could find a the last-minute, since I decided rather late in the day what to make for dinner. If this is the low-end of immersion blenders, I can’t imagine what the high-end blenders can do…
I’m already making a list of soups I want to make with this thing – cauliflower soup being at the top of that list. If you have a soup recipe that I absolutely must try, do let me know. I just can’t wait to immerse myself in immersion blending again…
Creamy Tuscan White Bean Soup
This recipe is adapted from Short on Time: Fabulous Food Faster, a book in the Kosher by Design series by Susie Fishbein. If you’re long on time, and want a lower sodium content, you can use dried instead of canned beans – just increase the cooking time to 1 – 1 1/2 hours, and hold the puree till the end when the beans are cooked. Canned beans are higher in sodium than dried beans, although you can reduce the sodium content of canned beans by rinsing them well or using low- or no-sodium brands. (Eden and Whole Foods brands are no salt added beans; Goya also has a low sodium brand)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 – 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
- 6 cups chicken stock, veggie stock or water (I also added a little water at the end to thin the soup a bit.)
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- Sea salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- Fresh parsley or thyme for garnish
- French bread toasts (recipe follows)
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook till translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute to allow the spices to start to toast and become aromatic. Add the beans, stock, sherry and 1 tsp salt. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot till smooth. Allow to cook another 10 minutes for the flavors to develop. Add more salt to taste if needed. Serve garnished with parsley and with French Baguette Toasts on the side. Reheats well the second day, but you’ll need to add a little water or stock to thin it out.
French Baguette Toasts
- 1 demi-baguette
- olive oil
- Salt and pepper.
- Grated parmesan (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Slice the baguette into 1 inch slices. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Brush lightly on one side with olive oil. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese (optional). Toast for 6-8 minutes in the middle rack of the oven.