Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuscan White Bean Soup: One-Pot Wonders

What's this one-pot wonder thing? Check out this post for the details.

The short version is that I'm playing with Emeril's upcoming cookbook, Sizzling Skillets and other One-Pot Wonders. This time around, I decided to make the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe.

Small caveat here. while  beans aren't actually my nemesis, they are the reason I bought a pressure cooker. You see, I live at high altitude, and dried beans can be interesting to cook. I still love beans - refried, Boston baked, in soup ... but I know that following recipes for beans can be .... challenging. It's never a direct translation.

But that didn't stop me from making this bean soup.

Most of the ingredients seemed like something I'd come up with on a random day - beans, onions, celery, red peppers, garlic, Italian herbs.... and then the rind of Parmigiano cheese. Okay, not so crazy, but I wouldn't have thought of it. And then broccoli rabe, rosemary and lemon. That's where it got a little more interesting.

My usual soups are a little more haphazard. It was interesting following a recipe for something that I normally just toss together on a whim.

The result? A soup with beans, thickened by mashed beans, and with the bright flavor of lemon and bright green broccoli rabe that was added late in the cooking process.

As far as the other vegetables added earlier in the cooking process - since I needed to cook the beans so long (because I'm at high altitude) those vegetables disappeared into the soup. Probably not what was intended, but it worked really well. The vegetables added a richness to the soup.

I was pleased that this recipe turned out so well, despite my high-altitude-ness. Next time around, I might convert this to a pressure cooker recipe to cut down on the bean cooking time.

This is one of the recipes we're allowed to publish, so here ya go:

Tuscan White Bean Soup
From Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders by Emeril Lagasse

Photo from the cookbook.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups small-diced onion
1 cup small-diced celery
1 cup small-diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 pounds dried white beans (cannellini, baby lima, or great Northern), rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, about 1 × 3 inches
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the olive oil in an 8-quart soup pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, dried Italian herbs, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the stock, beans, Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and water and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to simmer gently and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 to 60 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 1 cup of the beans from the pot to a small bowl and mash them with the back of a spoon. Return the mashed beans to the soup and add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the broth thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.

Add the remaining black pepper, the broccoli rabe, and rosemary sprig and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is just tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and rosemary sprig and discard them. Serve the soup in wide, shallow bowls, garnished (and I said Poof when I garnished) with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

 I've got more about the book later this week, and I'll be giving some stuff away. That's always good, right?

For my part in this party, I've been given a copy of the cookbook, a jar of Emeril's Essence and some serving bowls made by Zak! I'll also have a book and serving bowls to give away (stay tuned for that). Bloggers who complete the 3-week party will receive some additional books by Emeril as well as a small cash reimbursement. One blogger will be chosen to receive a 6-quart Emeril-branded crockpot made by T-Fal.

For more information on Morrow's cooking blog, see The Secret Ingredient. Want to pre-order the book? Clicky-clicky right here.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about the altitude -- beans are tricky here! Your soup looks marvelous, and with the temps today and tomorrow, I'll bet the leftovers will come in handy :)

Farmgirl Gourmet said...

Wow...looks great! Can't wait to make this too. Man, I may gain 20 lbs before the 3 weeks is up! :)

diabeticFoodie said...

Isn't this soup fantastic? Love the punch of lemon at the end.

mjskit said...

This looks and sounds wonderful! I made a pot of white beans today, so what a perfect soup for this week!

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