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Tuscan Style White Bean Soup

“From The Ultimate Italian Cookbook. A thick puree made from a portion of the cooked beans then added to this soup makes for a hearty texture to soup from Tuscany.”

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini or other white beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water
  • salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Drain.
  2. Place beans in a large saucepan of water, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain. Return the beans to the pan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil again. Add the bay leaf and cook until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf.
  3. Puree three quarters of the beans in a food processor, or pass through a food mill, adding a little water if necessary.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion, and cook until it softens. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes more, stirring often.
  6. Pour in the boiling water. Stir in the beans and the bean puree. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

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