01 March 2009

the perfect lunch.

I have trouble deciding what to eat for lunch. My husband comes home and he is perfectly happy to eat the same thing everyday. It is either a hot dog or a turkey sandwich. I, on the other hand, enjoy a little variety and sometimes a turkey sandwich just won't cut it. It seems boring. And bland. I need a little spice in lunch. So when I saw Giada making this recipe on Everyday Italian, I knew that it would join my lunchtime menu. I love white beans and this soup is so easy, it comes together in minutes. The perfect time line for lunch. I made a half batch and it lasted me through 2 lunches (one all soup, one soup and half a grilled cheese). Next time, I might make a double batch and freeze some for a quick heat up at a later date. A great lunch for any time of year, this light and fragrant soup is a must.

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian

I used rosemary instead of sage because I thought it would work well with the beans. It did. I think you could use any herb that you wanted here. I also ran out of stock when I made it, and used half water. It worked just as well if you need to do that, but I am sure it is better with all stock.

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 sage leaf or rosemary stalk
2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup cream or half and half
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. (Alternately, use an immersion blender right in the pot. It works great too and is easier in my opinion.) Be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when they are blended. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pan. Puree the remaining soup. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add the cream and the pepper. Keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

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