12 November 2010

Cookbookyssey #10: For the Love of Soup

For the Love of Soup
by Jeanelle Mitchell
© 2010 Whitecap Books

I picked up a bag of Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix from Capers, partly because the colourful mix of beans was so pretty, and figured I would throw in some herbs and vegetables and make some kind of soup with it. Then I remembered my multiple-personality fish stew, and decided it's probably a good idea to work from a specific recipe for now. I chose Tuscan Bean Soup, and based on the results, I think I should stick to specific recipes for at least the next year or so... it makes all the difference between having to defend the weird flavours a dish to my taste buds, and just simply, totally loving it.

The bean mix is the only ingredient where I strayed from the recipe; Tuscan Bean Soup calls for just one bean: white kidney beans. I don't know if using 12 additional beans made the soup better, but the recipe definitely made my 13 beans delicious.

Tuscan Bean Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken or veggie stock
2 cups water
28 oz can plum tomatoes, chopped
4 cups cooked white kidney beans
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp dried basil)
1/2 cup dry red wine
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (or to taste) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes.

Deglaze with red wine; add tomatoes, stock, water, beans and basil, and bring to a boil. (Note: I started soaking 2 cups of beans at 7 am before I left for work, drained them when I got home, brought them to a boil with 2 1/2 times the amount of water, simmered for an hour, drained and set them aside before using.) Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Partially purée the soup with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Puréeing part of the soup gives it a nice creamy texture. This soup is great. I can't stop eating it. Hooray for simple ingredients! Hooray for following recipes!

What else looks good in this book?

• Wild Mushroom & Leek Soup with White Wine
• Stracciatella Soup
• Creamy Leek & Fennel Soup with Parmesan
• African Peanut Chicken Soup
• Hearty Lamb & Bean Soup with Port
• Hamburger Soup!

1 comment:

  1. I finally tried one of the For the Love of Soup recipes this weekend. Chunky Lentil Soup. I have to say that the day of the flavour just didn't seem worth all that work of chopping and crying over bothersome onions. Thankfully that was just tiredness speaking. The next day the soup was hearty and flavourful. Looking forward to several lunches of it now that my freezer is stocked!


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