Finally we are experiencing cooler weather here in southern California and I can once again prepare all of my favorite soup recipes. I am a fan of soup. I'm even a bigger fan of easy to make ones! Weekends, I like to make a large pot of it and enjoy it through out the week as either a first serving or the main course. Therefore, my recipe for cannellini soup is a go to favorite. I usually have most of the ingredients in my pantry or fridge and it is a quick and versatile vegetarian soup that pairs well with most entrees.
Using a immersion blender, I puree the base ingredients of tomatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and saffron to render a creamy canvas for the cannellini beans. A dash of saffron and a handful of chopped kale makes this dish inviting to the eyes and good for the soul. Hearty, healthy and satisfying!
2 cups of cannellini beans- I like to cook my own beans; however canned ones work easily as well
1 large onion- roughly chopped
2 carrots- roughly sliced
2 celery stocks- roughly sliced
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and ground black pepper
A pinch of saffron threads
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups roughly chopped bite size pieces of kale
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
If cooking beans from scratch, in a large bowl, cover with water cannellini beans and soak over night. Two hours before serving, rinse beans and dispose water in which they were soaking and cook in a large pot with 5 cups of water for about an hour or until beans are cooked. If using canned beans, simply drain and rinse beans prior to using.
In a large pot heat oil over medium low; add onions, carrots, celery, seeds, salt and pepper. Saute for 7-8 minutes. Stir in celery seeds and minced garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil for 30 minutes. Using a immersion blender (or a kitchen counter blender- be careful of steam from the broth. I advise blending 2 cups at a time), puree ingredients until a creamy smooth soup is rendered. Add cooked beans, saffron, and a little more salt (to taste). Five minutes prior to serving, toss in kale; stir and serve while kale is vibrent and full of texture.