California Central Coast Recipes
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind is a classic and is sure to please the most hearty of appetites. This soup is very inexpensive to make, but is absolutely delicious!
What's so nice about Italian cooking, nothing is wasted. Leftover Parmesan cheese rind is a great flavoring agent! The addition of cheese rinds (which hopefully you've been saving in the freezer rather than discarding) is what really gives this soup body and its very distinct savory flavor.
This soup is made easily with a large can of reduced sodium chicken broth and canned white beans. If you prefer to use dried beans, then you will need to soak them overnight prior to using them. Dried beans also need to cook longer to develop a full-bodied flavor soup.
You will want to cook the medley of onions, carrot and garlic long enough to almost caramelize the trito to help the breakdown-cooking process as well as develop a sweet flavor which is essential to this soup.
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
5 cans (15 oz.)Sun Vista White Beans , rinsed well and drained or
1 pound dried white beans , soaked in water overnight, and drained
4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
2 Large White onions , thinly sliced (2mm)
1 Carrot,, peeled and chopped
8 Cloves Garlic , chopped
1 49 Ounce can of reduced sodium chicken broth
2 c water
3/4 teaspoons Dried Thyme
1/3 Cup Italian parsley , chopped
2 ounces Parmesan rinds
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked Black pepper
Extra olive oil for dribbling over soup bowls
Crusty bread such as a Pugliese
1 If you are using dried beans, the night before making the soup soak the beans according to directions on the package.
2 Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot and heat over medium-low heat.
3 Add in the onions, separating the ring segments and stir. Turn up heat to medium and saute the onions well. You may need to add a little more olive oil to prevent sticking.
4 When the onions start to soften, add in the carrot. Saute until carrots start to soften.
5 Add in the garlic, and stir well.
6 When garlic gives off fragrance, add in the chicken broth, water and beans. Stir well.
7 Add in the thyme and stir well, then add in the parsley. Stir again.
8 Add in the Parmesan rinds, and stir to distribute well.
9 Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer slowly for an hour or so.
10 Before serving, transfer 2 cups of beans to a food processor or blender and puree for a few seconds until smooth. This will help thicken the soup. Return pureed soup to stockpot, stir and add salt and pepper. If soup is too thick, add more broth or water to desired consistency.
11 Correct seasonings.
12 Turn up heat just a bit to make sure soup is hot.
13 Ladle into soup bowls. Lightly drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.
Serve with a young Sangiovese and have crusty bread available on the table.