Today was one of those days that you wish you had slept through.  Nothing went as it was supposed to.  I moved two steps forward, only to be directed 4 spaces back.  There was no traction.  Nothing happened.  I tried to go on a serious power walk with my dog only to have my contractors-who have never arrived before 10 am-show up at 9:30 and be cranky that I was not home.  I had lunch plans- I cooked;  my friend forgot.  I loaded my car with old toys I have been desperate to give away and my car died-for the third time in one month- in my driveway.  You get the idea.   Well, at least there was decent soup to eat.

You see, yesterday I made soup.  Soup from memory.  Once upon a time in Southern California, when I was twenty-something and oh, so, young, there was a wonderful soup recipe- white bean, chicken stock and a rind of parmesan cheese, that’s all I remember.  But, it was oh, so fabulously wonderful.  The recipe came from a long-lost small cookbook-maybe 4×6 in size-one of those stocking stuffer kind of things.  But, this was a good recipe.   So, yesterday, flush from my scallop triumph, I decided to tackle the soup. 

I soaked the beans, defrosted the chicken stock, had the parmesan rind waiting.  I sautéed onions and garlic for flavor- let it all simmer together with the rosemary stalks for several hours.  I pureed.  Then, right before I served it, I drizzled black truffle oil on top of each bowl.  OH MY GOODNESS! It was fab.  And, today when my day was falling apart, the leftovers helped to heal me.  This is my kind of band-aid- I hope you agree!

White Bean Soup– Serves 8 as a starter

16 oz dried cannelloni beans, soaked over night

6 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade

3 medium onions, roughly chopped

6 cloves garlic, diced

3 T olive oil

2-3 stalks fresh rosemary

1 large or 2 medium/small parmesan rinds

sea salt/pepper

black truffle oil (optional)

1.  Soak the beans over night- or for a good 8 hours.  Drain beans.

2.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 6-7 minutes or until golden.  Add beans and rosemary stalks, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often for another 4-5 minutes. 

3.  Add chicken stock and parmesan rind and  cook over a medium-low flame for 1- 1 1/2 hours, at a simmer, until beans are tender and falling apart.

4. Remove parmesan rind and stalks from the rosemary and puree soup.

5.  Serve at once, drizzling truffle oil on each  before serving.  You can serve with grated parmesan as well.



  1. Betsy L
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yum – sounds delicious. I make a similar soup from THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (though the recipe does not call for parmesan rinds or truffle oil – which sound great)and add a ton of spinach at the end (learned that from a friend years ago). It is so good for you that you can then indulge in chocolate cake for dessert and still come out ahead!

  2. Ali
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yum….with crumbled bacon

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