white bean soup with garlic & oregano

This Italian staple is one to sit up and pay attention to – it made my top 10 “base soup recipes” list years ago – and yes, we all need those base recipes that can be enjoyed as is, in their innocent, virgin states, or that can be dressed up in drag like it’s Saturday night in Vegas (and anywhere in between).


Once I’d made this a few times, the way those fabulous Italians intended, of course, my right brain took over. And being crazed, I couldn’t leave well enough alone – I started thinking which usually leads to, shall we say, adorning the already gorgeous natural blonde in the room – I just had to, I couldn’t help myself. So long story short, classic tuscan white bean soup is simply white beans, onions, garlic, a hearty herb (oregano, rosemary, thyme), olive oil, chicken stock and s & p to taste – pulverized into oblivion and bob’s your uncle. That’s exactly what’s going on here, but with a few additions – you’ll see. So make it pure & simple or defile it – all will be glad, even an Italian will have to give you cudos at the end of the day. click here to jump down to the white bean soup with garlic & oregano recipe white bean soup1. Soak your beans.

white bean soup-2 2. Drain your beans.

white bean soup-3 3. Trim a leek.

white bean soup-4 4. Half and quarter your leek.

white bean soup-5 5. And start dicing.

white bean soup-6 6. Noooooow, we rinse – when leeks end up being broken down like this, I rinse after. But if you were going to use your leeks whole or partially whole, rinse them straight away.

white bean soup-7 7. See? They do really get the once over.

white bean soup-9 8. Drain.

white bean soup-10 9. And spin dry.

white bean soup-11 10. Grab your onions.

white bean soup-12 11. Peel and half.

white bean soup-13 12. Just like this.

white bean soup-14 13. Slice ’em any way you like – I use a mandoline.

white bean soup-15 14. Pile the leeks and onions in a pan.

white bean soup-16 15. Give it a good stir.

white bean soup-17 16. Let them wilt and soften.

white bean soup-18 17. Get the seasonings organized.

white bean soup-19 18. Pile in the beans, seasonings & stock in the pan/pot with the onions.

white bean soup-20 19. Stir to mix well.

white bean soup-21 20. Cover and simmer for a couple of hours.

white bean soup-22 21. Hello silky smooth white beans.

white bean soup-23 22. Fish out the bay leaves.

white bean soup-24 23. Grab your immersion blender and start puréeing. If you don’t have one, use a blender or food processor.

white bean soup-25 24. Keep going.

white bean soup-26 25. And going.

white bean soup-27 26. And going – until it is all smooth.

white bean soup-28 27. I moved the soup to a pot, ’cause I started in a pan – if you started with a pot you won’t have to do this.

white bean soup-29 28. Taste and adjust the seasonings – I wanted more herbs and pepper. The soup is essentially done. I, however, want a little crunch so …

white bean soup-30 29. Dice a whack of celery and carrots.

white bean soup-32 30. Get them sautéing in a little olive oil over medium-high heat.

white bean soup-31 31. Dice a red pepper and mince a few cloves of garlic.

white bean soup-33 32. Add them to the carrots and onions and cook briefly.

white bean soup 33. Add to the soup pot and stir to combine.

feature 34. Ladle the soup into a bowl, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan, chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil – welcome to Tuscany – enjoy your stay!

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