Monday, February 1, 2010

White Bean Soup

Now that wasn't so hard was it?

I post. You say something. Everybody's happy. It's a snap!

There was a range of comments, from the satisfyingly obsequious "we're so sorry for not commenting" types, to those with some helpful suggestions. Let me take some time to respond.

Mags, you're right, I do need to make a better effort to post on other sites and any story about farting nuns is sure to increase your traffic.

To YesicanCook, I'm glad you enjoy the writing. While I was quite pleased with myself over the usage of hirsute and messianic, I have to admit I thought the linguistic-obtuse high point came with suzerain.

Of course not all the comments were sweetness and light. Anonymous (you know who you are) took a bit of a professorial tone with yours truly. Anony suggested that part of the issue was that I don't post often enough and that perhaps my claw-like persona gives commenters pause. Well crablings, you have nothing to fear from me. I am both patient and beneficent when it comes to my flock. I admit that immediately after reading Anony's comments my thoughts turned to the best way of remorselessly eviscerating him/her, but then SSSal pointed out that such an approach might be counter-productive to my goal of increased commentary.


But let me address one of Anony's points. Posting more often presents problems. Five paragraphs five days a week with five recipes projects out to very bloated writing and a very, very bloated Crabby. I could just post something short but Hi-Can't Haiku. So, for now, two posts a week it will remain.

Alright, enough of that. It's cold out and there's a limited prospect for warmth anytime soon. This recipe is from a Williams-Sonoma Catalog page. I always wondered what a recipe from a catalog would taste like. As it turns out, pretty good. Easy and warming, enjoy...

White Bean Soup
from some random Williams-Sonoma catalog

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pancetta
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (15 ounces each) cannelini beans, drained & rinsed
5 cups chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

12 baguette slices
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers
2 TBSP finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sherru vinegar
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon honey

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy duty pot or Dutch Oven. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 5 minutes.

Add the onion, carrot and celery. stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.

Add the cannelini beans, broth and thyme. Bring to a rolling simmer.

Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it reaches your desired level of smoothness. Stir in the cheese, adjust the seasoning. Keep warm.

Heat a cast iron grill pan or broiler to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil. Season with salt. Toast the bread turning once; about 2 minutes per side.

Roughly chop the jarred red peppers. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, parsley, red pepper flakes and honey. Top each baguette slice with red pepper tapenade.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with 1 or 2 baguette slices.

Tada. Warm again. Really a very easy recipe, perfect for those nights when you know you need to eat but don't want the hassle of a full-blown meat-and-two-veg extravaganza. Don't skip the baguettes though, they really make the meal and are easy using jarred peppers.

OK crablings, keep the comments coming. Until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook.


Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

One post about a flatulent nun and I'm labeled for life.

I've often made recipes from the Williams Sonoma catalogues. Since I can't afford their outrageous prices, I sort of feel like I'm pulling one over on them by using their recipes. It's the little things that tickle me.

Great looking soup!

Yesica N. Cook said...

Looks delicious, but a bit scared of the effects... (talking of nuns...)

Enspired said...

Hey Crabby,

Loved your chili! Great texture and just the right amount of spice. The addition of quinoa to the chili is brilliant. Extra protein is a wonderful thing! I also had one of your yummy truffles today. Just what I needed on a monday.

Stella said...

Hey Crabby, this soup looks really good too, and I believe I have some dried white beans. We must kind of eat the same. Oh, and last night I ended up kind of copying your most recent post with broth and noodles and just used organic tofu instead of beef. It was wonderful and my fiance was particularly happy. said...

Good news Stella! Though I won't take credit for making your fiance happy. I'm sure it was the company.