Saturday, 11 July 2009

Super-Tuscan White Bean Soup


* Two cans of cannellini beans
* 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
* 1/2 yellow onion, quartered lengthwise
* 1 carrot, quartered crosswise
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 quart chicken stock
* Finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional


Rinse beans with cold water and drain.

Add the beans to a saucepan along with the prosciutto, onion, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf. Pour in the chicken stock and then add water as needed to cover the beans by 2 inches. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. (If you heat them too fast, the skins may break.) Adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, until the beans are almost tender, 20 minutes or longer, depending on the age of the beans. Add salt, to taste, and continue cooking until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let the beans cool in the liquid.

Strain the cooled beans and other solids through a sieve, reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the beans and solids in batches with 3 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Top with parmesan cheese to serve.

Source: Michael Chiarello

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