A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life

A tale of two soups

Last week you may have noticed a Tuscan white bean soup on our menu.  I went to the store and bought all the ingredients we would need to make the soup.  Then, the week got ahead of us, we had leftovers for dinner 2 nights, and the soup was forgotten.  Until this week, when I decided to put it back on the menu, I mean, we had all the ingredients.  And nothing gets me more disappointed in the kitchen then throwing away food that we bought and did not use.  The problem is, when it came time to make the soup, I could not recall what recipe it was.  Unfortunately, Tuscan white bean soup is a relatively common name for a recipe.  And even in our collection of cookbooks it appears in many of them.  Forget the literally 100’s of recipes that pop up on Google.  However, I thought the recipe was from Ina Garten.  So, I checked the Ina cookbook we have but could not find it.  I then did a Google search for “white bean soup Ina Garten” and came across a few.  One called for dried white beans, and I knew we had a bag of those.  This must be the recipe.  I set off to make the soup, only to realize we needed to soak the beans overnight, so I resorted to canned beans.  A few other “Peter” modifications and we had a bowl of rosemary white bean soup.

When we sat down to have dinner Meghan commented “I thought the soup would be thicker.”  I said that because we had used the canned beans maybe that was why.  Then she said “did you use the fennel?”  Fennel?  The recipe I found did not call for fennel.  But we did have a bunch of fennel in the fridge.  Crap, I must have found the wrong recipe.  “Looks like I pulled up the wrong recipe.  At least this soup still tastes good though.”  Now what to do with that fennel?  In the meantime, here is the recipe for my rosemary onion and white bean soup.


  • 15 ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced in half moons
  • 2 cloves of roasted garlic, smashed
  • 1 branch of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 quarts of vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and salt, cooking for 10-15 minutes, until onions are very soft and almost a little caramelized.  Add the garlic cloves and rosemary, cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the vegetable stock and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper.  Bring the soup to a simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Serve the soup as a main course with a salad and some crusty bread, or as a side to a main dish.

After having this soup a couple of times this week, I realize it would actually make a good quick version of a French onion soup.  You could serve it in a ramekin, topped with a slice of crusty bread and some shredded cheese.  Put it under the broiler to brown the cheese before serving.

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This entry was posted on October 25, 2012 by in Healthy living, Peter Waterman's posts, Recipes and tagged , , , .
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