White Bean Soup Recipe
I don’t consider myself a writer. A home baker, yes–but writer? Well, that has come as a big surprise. When writing Art of the Pie, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought one handed in a sheaf of recipes, went to some photo shoots, and then everything would come together in a final form as if by magic. That is sort of what happens. Now in my third book, I know that the magic is called hours of dedication to a vision of a completed project that began well over one year ago, and will be in its final form, as a book in print, about a nine or ten months from now. The gestation period for a book is lots longer than nine months.
Today, and for the foreseeable months ahead, writing for pie is what I am doing. I love the topic so I don’t see this as a hardship in any way. I’ve been exploring and writing about it for years. What is hard is needing to halt those explorations at the baking counter, at least for a time, so I can focus on the manuscript in front of me.
So here’s where I am in the process:
- Recipes done and tested.
- Photo shoots, two weeks of them, complete.
- First draft turned in.
- Editors comments and remarks for revisions received.
- Revisions begin for the next big deadline.
- Soup on the stove simmering.
I am spending days in front of a large computer monitor (one of my best and smartest purchases), papers spread out in piles–some neat and some not so neat, woodstove keeping me and my four-legged family warm, pot of soup simmering, as I type, type, type.
Even when fatigue sets in, I feel so blessed to be writing a third book for you. Here’s the recipe for White Bean Soup that’s simmering right now. It’s gotten me through two books already, and now a third, and if I miss some days writing to you on the blog, I hope you won’t forget about me.
White Bean Soup from Home Cooking with Kate McDermott
- 2 cups (370 g) dry white beans
- 3 quarts (2.8 l) water or stock (chicken or vegetable), or a combination of water and stock
- 1 bay leaf optional
- 5 medium potatoes red or yellow
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 3 tablespoons (45 g) olive oil, plus more for serving
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese optional
- Pesto (optional)
- 8 ounces pasta cooked al dente (optional)
- Rinse dry beans several times, place them in a Dutch oven or lidded pot, cover with a few inches of water, and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove and discard any foam on top. Let sit for 1 hour.
- Rinse the beans, and cover them again with 3 quarts (2.8 l) fresh water, stock, or a combination of water and stock. Bring the beans to a boil for about 3 minutes. Remove and discard any foam on top. Turn down the heat, add the optional bay leaf, and simmer partially covered for about 30 minutes while you chop the vegetables.
- Chop the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions so that they are all about 1/2 to 3/4 inches (1 to 2 cm) in size. You can use a food processor on the pulse setting if you’d like.
- Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions and let cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic to the vegetables along with the rosemary, thyme, and salt. Let cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the entire vegetable mixture to the soup pot and continue simmering for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft.
- Add the pasta, if using, towards the end of the simmer.
- Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled and some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or a dollop of pesto.
Do Good December – Day 2
And for those who are following Do Good December, today let’s support a charity, cause or campaign you really care about.