A new page on the calendar and a new Cooking Light Supper Club - a monthly blogging event that brings cooks from around North America together for a virtual meal . . . all from the pages of Cooking Light magazine. Each month we have a theme and we select recipes to make and blog about that will fit the theme.
This month's theme was 'Winter Warmth'. When I picked this theme I was thinking of the usual Canadian February and thought we'd all sorts of body and soul warming foods with which to cope with the cold hell that is winter in Canada. Ironic that today's weather was mild and there is no snow on the ground - I could be grilling, not making soup.
Anyway, making soup I was. I love Bean soup from Italy with it's beguiling flavours that hide the fact that the ingredients are humble and simple. Normally I make my bean soup with dried beans which are soaked for hours prior to cooking. This speedy version uses canned beanswhich allows you to prepare this soup in just over 30 minutes making it a perfect week night meal.
The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons off sherry which is optional. There isn't anything Tuscan about Sherry but don't leave it out - we tried a spoon without it in and a spoon of the soup with the sherry added. The soup with the sherry was far superior!
Tuscan White Bean Soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped prosciutto or ham (about 2 ounces)
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup water
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, undrained
2 bay leaves
1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons sherry (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the prosciutto, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes or until soft.
Add the water, beans, bay leaves, and broth, and bring soup to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer soup for 20 minutes.
Add the parsley, sherry, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Discard bay leaves.