Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pesto Bean Soup

Photo by Katie Guymon

I love making soup. Seriously, there is something so calming about standing over a Dutch oven, slowly adding ingredients, casually adjusting spices, intermittently stirring a big simmering pot of yum. Add some music and a glass of wine... Well, that is just a perfect evening for me, folks.

My best friend, Nikki, e-mailed me this soup recipe just a few days ago, and I already jumped on the chance to make it. It's no joke: Nikki and I have the exact same taste buds. She's the only girl I know who will down some tomato juice and then head straight to the peperroncinis without skipping a beat (or getting heartburn). Well, the only girl except for me. So, when Nikki recommends a recipe, pretty much, I know I'm going to like it.

I honestly think it took me longer to photograph this soup than it did to make it. I just couldn't figure out the best way to capture all its brothy goodness. The pesto floats to the top while the hearty cannellini beans sink to the bottom. But, just trust me, give it a good stir, and every bite is something to behold.

Pesto Bean Soup
-5 garlic cloves
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
-1 cup of water
-3 heaping tablespoons of pesto
-2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
-3 cups chicken stock
-1 cup celery, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped green olives
-1/2 cup roasted red peppers, roughly chopped

1. Sauté five sliced garlic cloves and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven with olive oil on medium heat.
2. Add cannellini beans and water; simmer until thick, 8 minutes.
3. Stir in pesto and Parmesan.
4. Add chicken stock and celery; cook 15 minutes.
5. Stir in olives and red peppers.
6. Top with a bit more Parmesan to serve.

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