Broccoli and White Bean Soup with Sundried Tomatoes
January 9, 2011
When it’s -5 degrees F when I wake up, soup comes to mind! I’ve been fairly obsessed with soup these days. We’re having a colder and snowier than normal winter here in Minnesota which means soups and stews have a prominent place on our menu. I was looking for a new recipe yesterday and found this one in a cookbook on my shelf – A Good Day for Soup. It caught my attention because I don’t think I’ve ever made a soup with broccoli and our sage plant is going wild with new leaves. I made a couple of adaptations to the recipe, taking a page from the White Bean and Rosemary soup recipe we posted in the fall. Specifically, I made a sage oil to drizzle over the finished soup and served the soup over pasta. Like that soup, this one can be made vegetarian by using 100% water rather than a combination of water and chicken stock. We served this with a salad, baguette and a flavorful Pinot Grigio, which paired beautifully.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
1 large or 2 small carrots, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 cups dried white beans (cannellini, great northern or navy) or 2 15-ounce cans cooked beans
5 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium purchased broth) plus 5 cups water (or 10 cups water for vegetarian)
1 piece Parmiggiano Reggiano rind, about 2″ x 2″ square (optional)
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds), stems peeled and all cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped sundried tomatoes, oil packed or dry
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Cooked small pasta – shells, elbow macaroni, etc. – for serving (optional)
*Sage oil for serving (optional)
If using dried beans: Prepare the dried beans by soaking overnight or using the quick-soak method (place in a pot, cover by 3 inches with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit for an hour). Prepare the soup base by sauteing the onion and carrot in the olive oil for about 5 minutes in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the sage and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the liquid and the prepared dried beans. Bring to a boil, add the parmesan rind, turn down the heat and simmer for 40-60 minutes till the beans are done but not mushy. If using dry sundried tomatoes (which I recommend), add the chopped tomatoes in the last 10 minutes of cooking. (If using oil-packed sundried tomatoes, rinse and pat dry before chopping, then add along with the broccoli.) Add the broccoli, bring back to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes. Check after 5 minutes – the broccoli was cooked to our taste after that time. Stir in the parsley just before serving.
If using canned beans: Create the soup base, add the liquid and the cheese rind and simmer this for 30 minutes to develop flavor before adding the canned beans and the sun dried tomatoes. Then cook for another 10 minutes before adding the broccoli.
To serve the soup: Place a little pasta in the bottom of the soup bowls. Ladle the soup over the pasta and drizzle with a little sage oil.
*The Sage Oil
1 garlic clove sliced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
4 tablespoons good quality EV olive oil
Place these ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Keep the pan on the heat until the oil starts to bubble. Remove from heat and let sit 15-30 minutes. Strain into a small bowl for serving.