Wednesday, March 17, 2010

White Bean and Black Olive Soup

There are nights where I'm definitely in the mood to spend time preparing food - a soup like this, with lots of chopped vegetables, and slow-cooking over the burner, fits the bill perfectly.

Ahead of time, place 1/2 cup dry white beans in a saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above the beans, then bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and set aside. The original recipe did not specify what type of white beans to use, so I chose dried cannellini.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves; saute 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup diced celery, 1/4 cup diced carrot, and 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper; saute for 10 minutes.

Stir in 3 tablespoons tomato paste, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 2 tablespoons dry red wine of your choice, scraping the pan to loosen the browned bits that have accumulated (the Bordeaux from Chateau Laubarit is certified vegan, and has a nice dry finish to it! check out to order).

Note: with regards to the "browned bits," I felt like my mixture was almost beginning to burn along the bottom of the pan, so I turned the heat down a notch to medium and added the wine only halfway through the 5 minutes allotted to cook in the tomato paste. Use your judgment if you think the same is happening to you.

Next, add 1 cup vegetable broth and 1 cup water; stir well. Add the white beans, then bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Stir in 1/2 cup chopped zucchini; cook for 5 minutes. Next add 1 cup sliced escarole (a wonderfully bitter lettuce variety), 6 tablespoons sliced and pitted kalamata olives, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (use 1 teaspoon dried basil if you prefer), 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper.

1 cup of soup is 190 calories. You could double this recipe if you want to feed a crowd, or have leftovers throughout the week for lunch.

dry white beans $0.57
celery $3.39
carrot $0.21
red bell pepper $1.82
tomato paste $2.49
zucchini $1.02
escarole $1.99
kalamata olives $5.99
parsley $1.69
basil $2.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance