white bean soup with chive oil

Serves 6 to 8.

From "Cook Fight," by Kim Severson and Julia Moskin.

2 c. dried Great Northern or other small white beans, rinsed and picked over

• 1 bunch fresh chives

• 1/2 c. canola oil

• 1/8 tsp. sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 large onion, chopped

1 c. chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)

1 large tomato, halved, seeded and chopped

• 1/2 c. chopped carrots

• 1/2 c. chopped celery

• 8 garlic cloves, chopped

11 c. homemade chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth, or more as needed

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

• 1/2 c. half-and-half

• Salt


Put the beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches, and let soak overnight. Drain.

Meanwhile, to make chive oil: Fill a bowl with ice cubes and water. Blanch chives in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain immediately and put chives in ice water. Drain, wrap in paper towels, and squeeze out excess water.

Put chives in blender with oil, sea salt and black pepper, and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve. Transfer oil to a plastic squeeze bottle if you like. The oil can be refrigerated for up to a month; bring to room temperature before using. (Makes ½ cup.)

To complete the soup: Heat olive oil in same bean pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, leeks, tomato, carrots, celery and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add beans, chicken stock, thyme and rosemary, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, about 1 hour.

Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot and add half-and-half, then add more chicken stock to thin soup if needed, and reheat soup if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of chive oil atop.

Variation: Serve as an appetizer and ladle it into espresso cups.