And so it begins. The slow and deliberate winter thaw. The sound of the swollen winter breeze, for months now our companion, has been extinguished. The birds have begun to regain their rightful place on the branches out back and have started serenading us in the morning. Spring. Her perfume is all around us.
The lull of winter is crawling to an end. After months spent harboring away in our home, the lure of spring’s charm will soon call. The pace will sharpen and test our resolve. And soon, the memories of winter will be distant. Fading into the sunset of another season passed. Ready for future moments to take hold.
Before the passing of the guard, winter will surely leave her mark one last time. And to hold you over for the last of the cold, long nights, I made this soup. Everything I want in a wintery pot of soup. It’s hearty and has great depth of flavour, it’s loaded with lots of great vegetables and beans and great stock. It’s also great to freeze. Just in case winter has different plans.
From my kitchen.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
- 2 cups cannellini beans, soaked and drained
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 large leek (white and light green parts only), diced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 cups squash, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
- 4 slices of baguette
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the leeks, carrots, celery, potato and squash and saute for 1o minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and 2 cups of water. Season and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the beans and oregano and season to taste. Cook for a further 1o minutes. Transfer half the mixture to a food processor and purée. Return to the pot and heat through.
- Meanwhile, brush the baguette slices with oil and broil until golden brown. Rub with half a garlic head.
- Ladle soup into bowl and place a baguette slice on top. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Garnish with an oregano sprig.
- Serves 6-8.