White Bean & Rosemary Soup

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The first day back from holiday vacation!  I had a whirlwind of time off – went home to visit the parents and siblings and then on Friday Dario and I zipped off to New Jersey to visit my grandparents, great Aunt and 9 cousins!  Lots and lots of family time – it was so great to see everyone!  I’m missing them already! white bean and rosemary soup, bean soup, soup recipes, vegetarian soup, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes

 

white bean and rosemary soup, bean soup, soup recipes, vegetarian soup, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes

But now it’s back to the daily grind – work, chores, gym (?) and cooking healthy dinners.  It’s funny…after holidays or long vacations, I’m always a little bit excited to get back to my regular eating habits.  I mean, I LOVE desserts and rich dishes, like my Mom’s mashed potatoes that had a whole stick of butter in them.  But my body isn’t a huge fan of several days of this type of food.  I feel weighed down, lethargic and my GI track is more than ready for a break.
white bean and rosemary soup, bean soup, soup recipes, vegetarian soup, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes So to get Dario and I back on track, and quick, I made us a big batch of my White Bean & Rosemary Soup.  It’s filled with creamy delicious white beans, tons of wilted swiss chard all mingled with the woody, lemony flavor of rosemary.  I love this soup after a bought of heavy-duty eating because it’s filled with fiber, protein and flavor but with little added fat and calories.  The secret to the all this delicious low-cal flavor is the genius addition of a Parmesan cheese rind.  Yup – just the rind.  I save these after grating all the cheesy goodness from them – they keep really well in the freezer.  It gives the whole soup a nutty somewhat salty flavor.  SO delicious.  You need to start saving your rinds people!

white bean and rosemary soup, bean soup, soup recipes, vegetarian soup, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes

white bean and rosemary soup, bean soup, soup recipes, vegetarian soup, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes The next best thing are the white beans.  These are great for “creamy” soups, because they provide a wonderful velvety-like texture with NO cream.  None.  I used fresh white beans that I cooked from dried.  These require a little extra cooking time (see recipe below) to allow them to get nice and soft before a quick blitz with the blender.  If you’re feeling that this soups needs a “little something extra” my Mom frequently throws in some crumbled turkey sausage – but for us vegetarians some ground tempeh or Boca crumbles would be good too.  However, after Thanksgiving, I decided to keep this pretty simple and it came out wonderful!  Yum – and great as lunch leftovers!

White Bean & Rosemary Soup:
Ingredients:

  • 3 leeks, chopped and cleaned
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 5 cups great northern beans
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 cups swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 48 oz vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water, separated
  • 1 parmesan cheese rind
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock or soup pot over medium high heat.  Saute carrots for about 5 minutes.  Add in leeks, rosemary and garlic.  Continue to cook until vegetables are lightly golden and beginning to soften.  Toss in the parmesan rind.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.  Cook for about 3 minutes until the wine has reduced by around half.
  3. Add in the beans, stock and 1 cup of the water.  Bring soup to a boil and cook for 20 minutes uncovered.  If using dried beans that have been cooked, increase this cooking time to 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the rosemary sprigs (pulling off any remaining leaves and leaving them in the soup) and parmesan rind – set aside.
  5. Puree about half of the soup with a stick blender or add soup in small batches into a blender.  You can puree more or less soup depending how the consistency you like – I prefer keeping a few of the beans whole.
  6. Add in the swiss chard and reserved parmesan cheese rind.  Cover and allow greens to cook down, about another 3o minutes.
  7. Serve hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few grinds of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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