Recipe by Chef Heidi Fink
Warming White Bean Soup
- Prep time 20 mins
- Cook time 35 mins
- Ready in 55 mins
- Yield 6 litres
This family-friendly soup comes together quickly thanks to the use of canned beans and tomato paste. Quick on time, but big on flavour, because of a few key techniques!
- Place a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add onion and sauté for several minutes, until softened.
- Add carrot, celery (or fennel), and bay leaves and sauté for several minutes more, until vegetables are fragrant and flecked with golden brown.
- Turn heat down to medium or medium-low. Add a splash or water to the pan if things seem too hot. Add rosemary and garlic . Sauté until fragrant, 10 to 30 seconds, then add tomato paste. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste has turned from bright red to a brownish-red colour, at least 2 minutes. (This last is a very important step to bring out the best flavour from the tomato paste.)
- Immediately add the broth of your choice, along with the ground black pepper. Add the sliced Italian sausage. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of your soup pot, then reduce heat to a gently simmer.
- Open the can of beans, drain them, and rinse them. Add the drained beans to the soup. Keep the soup at a steady simmer.
- Let simmer for 10 minutes. Use this time to prep the greens, if necessary, and chop the herbs. Add the greens at the 10 minute mark. Simmer the soup for an additional 10 minutes, for a total of 20 minutes.
- Taste soup to see if it needs salt and/or a splash of lemon juice or other acidifier (e.g. sherry vinegar). Stir in the fresh parsley (and fresh basil, if using). Serve each bowl with a garnish of freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Leave out the sliced sausage in step 4 and simmer the soup only 5 minutes before adding the greens. Carry on with the recipe as written. This version may need a bit of additional salt and/or red chili for extra flavour.