White Bean Soup
A hearty bean soup, which is substantial enough to fill in as main course, also can double as an appetizer.
- 8 leaves fresh kale, or 1 small bunch
- 3 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup peeled and diced baking potato
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 bouquet garni: 1 large sprig thyme, 4 sprigs parsley with stems, 1 bay leaf, 8 peppercorns and 4 whole cloves tied in 2 leaves of leek or wrapped in cheesecloth
- 2 15-oz. cans navy beans or cannellini beans, or 4 cups home-cooked beans with 1½ cups liquid
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- Lemon juice to taste
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 cups diced, peeled carrots
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1 cup diced leek, white and pale green parts only
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 bunch parsley stems
1. Remove and discard tough kale ribs. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add kale leaves, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from water, and plunge into ice-cold water. Remove from water, and lightly squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely, and set aside.
2. In medium-sized saucepan, combine stock, potatoes, onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat, and cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans and liquid. Reduce heat to low, and cook about 10 minutes more, or until soft.
3. Add chopped kale, and cook 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bouquet garni, and discard. Season with lemon zest and juice. If soup is too thick, add water as needed. To make soup creamy, blend 1/2 cup potatoes with broth when potatoes are softened, and stir into saucepan. Serve hot.
- Combine all ingredients in large pot. Add cold water to cover, about 6 cups. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. Strain before use.
Here’s a dish you can use to test different wine pairings and further your discovery of wines. The kale and potato will be highlighted by an earthy Italian regional red or Pinot Noir. The creaminess of the beans and potato will be highlighted by a New World Semillon, a Chardonnay or a blend of the two.