Ode to the Cannellini Bean

tiny, flecked with pink
creamy soft clouds in my mouth
tender, evermore

Yes, a haiku came to me about Cannellini beans – yes, I have deranged, poetic and sometimes pornographic thoughts on certain foods. White beans are one such ingredient. Could any one item melt so seamlessly into other dishes, bolstering the meal with health and sublime creaminess while also stand alone, proud and simple? I think white beans fall under the same umbrella as potatoes, apples and bread – a perfect addition to any number of meals – curries, soups, dips, etc. and when prepared by their lonesome, still stand up on the mountain, with fire-works ablaze.

Julia Child wrote of “simplicity itself” in dishes such as Cassoulet and White Bean Salad and was big proponent of the humble legume. No doubt hers swam in a myriad of butter, cream and bits of pork, but our intentions are mutual – use the good, earthy stuff of life, doctor it up a bit, and eat it for lunch with a friend and a great bread to sop up the juices.

When I eat this soup, one of my favorite 10-minute meals, it fills me to the brim, warms me with its minimalist ingredients and leaves me feeling a touch French. It is also great the next day smeared on toast with an olive or room temperature with raw veggies for dipping.

White Bean Soup

Glug of olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp tarragon
4 c Cannellini beans
4 c vegetable broth
1/2 c non-dairy milk (I like soy creamer or plain almond milk)
juice of a half lemon
(paprika and fresh dill for garnish)

In a big pot, over medium heat, sauté the onions, garlic and olive oil for 5 minutes, add the dried spices mid-way through. Add the broth, beans, and non-dairy milk. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium heat. Take pot off burner and blend with hand-blender (or in the food processor), until smooth, with a few chunks of bean. Be careful, as the soup can jump out and burn you during this process! Return blended soup to pot and heat through another minute or so, stir in lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper seasonings, to taste. Ladle into small bowls (I like to heat mine in the oven or put boiling water into the bowls right before – keeps it so nice and hot!) and garnish with more salt and pepper, paprika, dill and a drizzle of olive oil.

D likes his with a little hot sauce or pepper jelly. Fresh bread is the perfect partner to this simple feast. The multi-grain from the Pearl Bakery is a hearty choice.

1 comment:

  1. wow, i think the use of the word "pornographic" to describe your love of beans is cute, and naughty.