Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tuscan Bean Soup with Crunchy Croutons

I love italian style cooking it's so simple & so very tasty!

Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped finely
leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 x 420g cans cannellini beans (I used organic)
1 litre vegetable stock
cracked black pepper & fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve (I skipped these0

1. Heat oil in frying pan and gently fry onion, thyme, garlic for 3 to 4 minutes (I chose to do this in the frypan to increase flavour & save on dishes). Drain cannellini beans and rise well with cold water.
2. Transfer onion, thyme & garlic to saucepan, add beans, stock and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
3. Using blender or food processor, roughly puree soup. Season to taste. Serve garnished with croutons & parsley.

The croutons
The recipe I used has it's own version of how to make croutons. But I have my own method (comes from watching far too many cooking shows!). Cut or rip bread into pieces (i've used the bread I use for sandwiches & toast). Place on baking tray, drizzle with good quality olive oil and season with salt & pepper. The salt will help draw extra moisture out of the bread and make for crunchier croutons.