Savory White Bean Soup
Nothing like homemade soup to take the chill off a cold winter day. Make bread bowls out of a small round loaves of bread and serve soup inside.
3 quarts water
1 cup dried white beans
1/4 pound bacon, cut in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried péquin chile or similar
3 cups half-and-half (light cream)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chives
- Rinse beans in cold water before using.
- In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil over moderate-to-high heat. Add beans, bacon, garlic, onion, bay leaf and pequin chile. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until beans are tender, about 3 1/2 hours, adding a little more water if necessary to keep the beans covered.
- Remove bacon and bay leaf from pan. Pour contents of the pan into a processor and purée them. Return the purée to the pan over moderate heat, stir in the half-and-half, salt and pepper, and cook just until the soup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sieve the soup and serve it immediately in heated bowls, garnished with fresh chives.
Makes 6 servings.