Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Savory Cannellini Bean Soup

Readers of this blog will know by now that I haven’t posted any recipes in over two months. My pregnancy with our third child has been surprisingly complicated, taking up a huge amount of time and energy... and although I’ve found comfort in cooking for my family, I haven’t had much opportunity to blog about our meals. Rather than inventing my own recipes I've been reprising family favorites and turning gratefully to delicious dinner recipes developed by my favorite gluten free bloggers including Karina Allrich and Shauna James Ahern.

Thanks to a happy accident however, today I found myself creating an original "everything but the kitchen sink" recipe for this very tasty vegetarian soup that proved to be a great hit with my husband and children. Inspired by a single 15 oz can of cannellini beans, this savory concoction draws its rich flavor from its spicing which includes fire roasted green chiles, tarragon, rosemary, sage and chicken broth.

I hope this meal will warm the tummies and hearts of your family and friends – and that you will share the same joy in sitting around the table chatting over your steaming bowl of soup that we did tonight.

Savory Cannellini Bean Soup

What You’ll Need:

3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
3 celery ribs (including leaves) sliced very thinly
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup short grain brown rice
4 oz fire roasted green chiles
15 oz cannellini beans
8 oz crimini mushrooms, washed and quartered
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (additional) to taste

Optional: 1 large handful of steamed asparagus, chopped into ½ inch pieces

How It Works:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 3 quart pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrots and celery, dust them with salt and pepper according to your taste, and sauté covered (stirring frequently) for 8-10 minutes until the celery has softened. Add minced garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant but not yet golden. Add chiles and mix them well into your veggie medley. Pour in the uncooked short grain brown rice, and stir it into the mix until all grains of rice are well coated with the oil and chile juices. Allow the rice to warm, approximately 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring.

Next, pour in all chicken broth, water and wine. Add Bay leaf, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and bring entire contents of pot to a boil. Skim froth off of top of the liquid. Reduce heat and simmer mostly covered for 20 minutes. When timer rings, add quartered mushrooms, cannellini beans, tarragon, sage and rosemary (plus optional steamed asparagus if you’ve chosen to add it). Combine these new ingredients well into your broth and set the timer for 30 additional minutes. Allow your soup to simmer covered, making sure that it does not boil. Stir occasionally. The soup will be ready to eat after 50 minutes total cooking time, but feel free to allow it to simmer over low heat as long as you like.

Serve generous portions of this hearty soup next to a fresh side salad. Especially great with hot buttered Kinnikinnick gluten-free dinner rolls!

Serves 6.