TUSCAN WHITE BEAN AND GARLIC SOUP
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: Mild onions can be substituted for the shallots. To complete the meal, serve this with a green salad and ciabatta bread, grilled or toasted and topped with olive oil. From "Giada's Kitchen," by Giada de Laurentiis.
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 shallots, chopped
• 2 fresh sage leaves, stems removed
• 2 (15-oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
• 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
•1/2 c. heavy cream
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add butter, olive oil and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, cannellini beans and garlic; stir to combine.
Add the chicken broth to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently until the garlic is softened, about 15 minutes.
Pour half of the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle a third to half of the soup from the bowl into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth (fill only half full and be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when blended).
Pour the blended soup back into the pot and repeat with the remaining soup from the bowl. Once all the soup is returned to the soup pot, stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.