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White Bean Soup

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried Great Northern beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 cup chopped leek, white and pale green parts
  • 1 large tomato seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 8 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3 bacon slices chopped
  • 10 1/2 cups chicken stock or more if needed (or canned low-salt chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • White truffle oil (optional)

Details

Servings 8

Preparation

Step 1

Place beans in heavy large pot. Add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Soak overnight. Drain beans.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, leek, tomato, carrots, celery, garlic and bacon and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add beans, 10 1/2 cups chicken stock, chopped thyme and rosemary. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until beans are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream. Add more chicken stock by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Lightly drizzle top of each with white truffle oil, if desired.

This recipe yields 8 first-course servings.

White truffle oil, should you happen to have a bottle of it, is a delicious "garnish" for this rich and hearty soup. White truffle oil is available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets nationwide.

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