Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Bacon and Rosemary

I have a rosemary plant in my garden. When I bought it I wasn't sure I would ever use it in a recipe. I just usually don't care for it. But I saw this recipe and thought it sounded really good. I also purchase some rosemary and olive oil bread to go with it.
original recipe from Picture-Perfect Meals
6 ounces bacon, diced
 1 cup diced onion
salt and pepper
 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
 2 quarts chicken stock/broth
 3 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
 2 bay leaves
 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
 1 sprig fresh thyme or oregano
 1/4 cup heavy cream
 grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat; add the bacon and cook until lightly browned and crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
Add the onions to the hot oil, season with some salt and pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add one cup of the stock to the pan, scraping up any browned bits.
Add the remaining stock, beans, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme(or oregano). Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Fish out the bay leaves and herb stems; add in the cream  and cook until soup starts to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes more.
Top each serving with grated Parmesan and bacon pieces.
Changes from original recipe:
The original called for pancetta and I wanted to use that, but my grocery store didn't have it. The bacon was a fine substitute.
I used 2 cans of beans, but have decided it will be better with 3 cans next time. I will also puree about half a can of beans to thicken the soup.
I used fresh oregano instead of thyme because I had that in my garden and it was great.
I'll probably use Great Northern beans next time because I just prefer them.

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