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Garlicky White Bean Soup

February 23, 2011

So its like day 16 or something without coffee and I have been the most clumsy, clutzy and forgetful non-pregnant person ever!  I’ve burnt myself more times this week than I have in my entire life and I can’t seem to remember anything.  I say all that because I know I vowed not to post anymore Daniel Fast recipes but I dropped my camera while trying to take pictures of sugar cookies over the weekend and I broke it 😦 This means no more pictures of scrumptious sweets until I either get it fixed or get a new camera.  The good news is I have some pictures of past recipes and since today happens to be frigid cold, here is a fabulous soup (from the even more fabulous Lidia Bastianich) to warm you.

Since I can’t have meat for 5 more days, I only added greens to the soup base, but you could add pasta, potatoes, sausage, almost anything to this for a great soup!

Simmer soaked beans in water, olive oil, and bay leaves

Three hours later…they’ll look like this

sautee garlic in olive oil

sizzling garlic and peperoncino

Add soup broth to finish garlic soffritto

Chop the greens

Finished white bean soup

Garlicky White Bean Soup

Makes about 3 quarts, enough for 2 batches of soup or more.

Ingredients:
1 lb. (about 2 1/2 Cups) dry white beans, soaked overnight or quick soaked
4 quarts cold water
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teasp salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/4-1/2 teasp. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 lb swiss chard, escarole, or spinach (or other leafy vegetable) rinsed well and chopped
Drain the soaked beans and put them in a large pot with the water, bay leaves and 1/4 c olive oil.  Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  When the water is at full boil, set the cover ajar, adjust the heat to maintain a steady gently boil and cook for an hour or until the beans are tender.
Stir in the salt, uncover, and continue cooking at a bubbling boil for another hour or more, until the beans and broth have reduced to 3 quarts. Lower the heat as the liquid evaporates, stirring now and then to prevent scorching.
When the soup base has reduced, heat the 3 Tablesp. olive oil and sliced garlic in a skillet over medium heat for 2 min or so, shaking the pan now and then, until the slices are sizzling.  Drop in the pepper flakes and cook another minute or until the garlic is just starting to color.
From the soup pot, ladle out a cup of the simmering bean broth and pour it into the skillet.  Let is sizzle and start to boil, stir and let cook for a couple more minutes.  Then pour it all back into the bean pot and simmer the the soup base for another 5 minutes.

The soup can now be finished for serving or refrigerated for 3-4 days or freeze for 4-6 months.

Divide the Soup in 2 batches, half can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.  Heat the remaining bean soup to a boil, stir in chopped greens, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook covered until greens are wilted, 30-40 minutes.  Serve hot note: I’ve never had to simmer mine for 40 minutes after adding swiss chard, it’s usually taken about 20 minutes to watch it, taste it, and serve when you’re ready.
To keep you interested…next week I’ll be making red velvet cheesecake and chocolate caramel sea-salt cookies, and perhaps a birthday cake 🙂
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