It is a traditional Tuscan recipe that is filling enough to be a main course with a light salad on the side. To sum it up it is simple, healthy and delicious.
For the croûtons:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 slice whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the soup:
2 cups dried cannellini (white beans), soaked overnight and drained
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
First, prepare the croutons. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Remove the garlic pieces and discard them. Return the pan to medium heat and sauté the bread cubes until they are light brown. Stir frequently. Place them in a bowl and set aside.
In a Dutch oven over high heat, boil the water and add the white beans, salt and bay leaf. After, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender. You may use a pressure cooker if you are in a hurry. Do not overcook. Drain the beans and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. Remove the bay leaf and discard it.
In a small bowl, mash half of the cooked beans and mix it with the reserved liquid to form a paste.
Place the Dutch oven over high medium flame and heat the olive oil. Stir-fry the garlic, onions and carrots until the carrots are cooked. Pour in the vegetable stock. Add the chopped rosemary, beans and bean paste. Bring it to a boil and season it with salt and pepper. After, let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
Ladle the stew into individual bowls and top with croûtons. Garnish it with a rosemary sprig. Serve immediately.
Photo Courtesy Of: thebittenword.com