Monday, May 10, 2010

The Simplest of White Bean Soups

After a windy weekend in New York (still going actually), I decided I wanted some comforting soup for dinner. That, and watching the Food Network makes me crave whatever I'm staring at. So once I'd passed my cravings for ravioli, fish tacos, and shrimp scampi, I got around to making some soup.

Also, WTF Mother Nature? It was 75º on Easter, it hit 88º about a week and a half ago, and on Mother's Day all you could scrounge up was 52º with 30  mph winds? You must be one seriously pissed off Mama to make one of your own holidays suck. On Saturday I was literally blown across the street and into the UPS store. CHILL OUT, WOMAN!!!

My fridge is rather bare at the moment, so I looked online for inspiration for a soup that could be done w/ pantry staples. I stopped on Giada's white bean and escarole soup, knowing she frequently uses minimal ingredients. And wow was I right.
olive oil
2 garlic cloves
white beans
parmigiano reggiano
chicken stock

That's it. Kinda basic, but I had all of those ingredients handy, so I decided to go for it. (I substituted baby arugula for the escarole, as that is what I actually had on hand. Any dark green will do in a dish like this.) It also only had about 10-15 minutes of total cooking time, so added bonus of immediate gratification.
It's Giada (and me) so the meal starts with grated garlic in olive oil. Sauté about 1 minute on medium heat.

Toss in your greens and stir. Add more than you think you should, as it will wilt down tremendously.

Season with salt here.

I kind of did a half-assed job of crushing and chopping the beans. I knew I didn't want them all to be whole in there, what with my dislike of most beans, (I'm getting better tho!) but for some reason (haste and hunger, most likely) I did not bother to get out the mini food processor. Next time, I will purée them, as I knew I ought.
Give the beans and greens a stir, and then add your broth.

Giada only says to cook this for about 5 minutes to "heat the beans through" but I think it needs a bit more time. Give it ten minutes for the flavors to combine a little. She also instructs to add the parmigiano reggiano while it is simmering. I added about two spoonfuls of the grated cheese.
I also threw in a bay leaf while it was simmering, in an attempt to add more flavor. Anything only cooking for five to ten minutes, tho, probably will not get the benefit of an added bay leaf. Just remember to remove it before serving if you use one.

I chose to garnish with more cheese (surprise!)

As soon as I finished cooking and tasted the soup I thought of a number of ways to improve it next time. Other than puréeing the beans. The flavor was good, but it needed something more.
I guess YOU will just have to wait until next time to find out what I will do!
(Hint: when I reheated the soup the next day, I sprinkled some Chorizo Salt on top...)

I shall enjoy this soup until May stops feeling like March... hint, hint, Mother Nature!

1 comment:

Chuck said...

That sounds pretty damn good to me and once again I leave the site...hungry!