Although I love Michael Chiarello’s creations, I have always thought that they are time consuming. This “Super-Tuscan” white bean soup however beats the norm. The basil topping completely sold me this dish and it is versatile enough to use on many types of soups and salads. I have tried to simplify and de-meatify it (yes I said de-meatify) for an easy weeknight meal. I also added a slight zing of spice to the soup itself and another layer of texture with asparagus tips that give a crisp bite to the creamy white bean soup.
1 13 oz can cannellini (Italian White) beans
1 yellow onion, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup asparagus tips (Snip off the tips, around 1″-2″ from 1 bunch of fresh asparagus and save the rest for a pasta or salad later)
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil|
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp salt
To make the topping :
Heat the 1/3 cup olive oil In a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to turn golden brown. Add the red chilli flakes and cook for a few seconds, then add the basil. Cook until basil wilts , stir in the salt and set aside.
Heat the 3 tbsp olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and red chilli powder. Cook until the onions turn translucent and soft, around 4-5 minutes.
Add the bay leaf, salt and beans mix well and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in the stock, cover and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.
Uncover, carefully remove the bay leaf and blend this mixture until smooth using a hand blender. Add the asparagus tips to the soup, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat. Ladle into a soup bowl, top with a tsp of the basil topping and serve with parmesan crisps.
This dish goes to Food In Color event hosted by Tongue Ticklers.