White Bean & Roasted Garlic Soup

this unassuming soup is savory and full of flavor.

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 15 oz cans cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 oz smoked ham or bacon, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried, ground
salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. combine the olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pan and sauté over medium-low heat until golden brown.
2. empty two cans of drained, rinsed beans plus garlic and oil into a blender or food processor and pureé until smooth (depending on how good your blender is, you may need to add a half cup of the chicken broth to make things thinner).
3. warm and slightly brown the ham in the sauce pan while pureéing the bean mixture.
4. return pureé to sauce pan. add 2 cups of the broth (unless you've already added a half cup - then it would be 1 1/2 cups broth), remaining can of beans, tomatoes, and rosemary. add 1/2 cup water if soup is too thick. stir pureé and broth until completely incorporated. bring mixture to a low boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes. remove rosemary springs (if used), season with salt and pepper.
5. serve in bowls with a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and good toasted bread.

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