Super chilly weather in North Carolina has allowed me to keep my woolies out from Canada and make big pots of soup and homemade lattes in the morning. Despite returning to the realities of the workplace (which is actually a wonderful place to work), the joys of owning a milk frother and espresso machine make waking up in 20 degree weather worth it. And, having leftover soup to enjoy as leftovers.
This past Sunday I made a giant pot of homemade chicken stock and made my first soup of 2016 – a French Bean and Vegetable Soup recipe that I discovered in a magazine I picked up in the Toronto airport. The hardest part of this soup is remembering to soak the beans the night before. From there, its super easy and will last through the week for lunches at the office and afterwork dinners.
French Bean and Vegetable Soup, inspired by fine cooking
- 8 ounces flageolets or any white bean (I used Northern White Beans)
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and pealed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 3/4 cup, chopped leeks
- 3/4 cup, chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, minced
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- 1 can, diced tomatoes
- 1 cup kale, torn into pieces
- 5-6 cups chicken broth
The night before, soak the beans in a bowl of water with about 3 inches water over the beans.
The next day, drain the beans and transfer to a pot. Add the smashed garlic, bay leaf and 6 cups of water. Partially cover and simmer for 30 mins. After 30 mins, season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for another 45 to 1 hour, or until tender. You may need to add more water depending on how the bean absorb the liquid.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned. Transfer to a plate and remove the majority of the fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add the leeks, shallot and season with salt and pepper. Once they have started to soften, add tomato paste, garlic, thyme and herbs de Provence.
Then add carrot, tomatoes, kale and chicken broth. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are just tender. Add the beans to the soup. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
We garnished the soup with hot chile oil and parmesan cheese. Of course, thats optional.