It is Sunday and time for Souper Sundays, where I will be making a batch of soup and posting it, maybe joined by a fellow Blogger or two. Today is a perfect soup day as its been raining pretty hard on and off all day. Although I have gotten used to making and eating soup in any weather living here, there is something about a rainy day that makes soup seem even better. This week I decided to break open my newest cookbook purchase; Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites by Giada De Laurentiis of course. Her Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup looked creamy and sounded delicious.
Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
Giada's Kitchen, Giada De Laurentiis
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 sage leaves, stems removed
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 slices ciabatta bread
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Place a medium, heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, cannellini and garlic and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently until the garlic is softened, about 15 minutes.
Pour half the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle a third to half of the soup from the bowl into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when they are blended). Pour the blended soup back into the pot and repeat with the remaining soup from the bowl. Once all the soup is returned to the soup pot, stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.
For the bread: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the slices of ciabatta bread with the extra-virgin olive oil. Grill the bread until it is warm and golden grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side. Serve the soup in bowls with the grilled bread alongside.
Notes/Results: I realized I had no shallots so used part of a small/sweet onion instead. I also upped the garlic it called for. I used my immersion blender to blend about half the soup to get the creamy texture but because I also like a really chunky soup I ended up putting another can of beans in it and felt that it made the texture perfect. The soup was fine but I felt it lacked a bit of something, so I added a bit more salt and black pepper and also added 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper and that helped a lot. Giada suggests that you serve the soup with grilled ciabatta bread which would be good but I wanted to make the Pecorino Crackers recipe she had in the book and I am glad I did. The soup is good, a potential make again but the crackers are incredible, cheesy and delicious and I have a feeling they will be made often. They are so good, they deserve their own post tomorrow.
A perfect soup day is even better shared with friends so check out:
Andrea at Nummy Kitchen who has joined me for Souper Sundays and made a beautiful Jamaican Carrot Soup with Coco Bread. If this soup tastes even half as good as it looks, it must be utterly delicious.
My good friend Natashya at Living In the Kitchen With Puppies also dropped by with a hearty and delicious looking Potato Soup with Roasted Squash and Garlic Croutons. Ladle me up a big bowl of this one! If you want to join us on Sundays in making and enjoying some comforting meals in a bowl (soups, stews, chili, etc.) just post a comment here. Happy Souper Sunday!