When my shoulder pain was at its worst a few weeks ago, local friends from our church and community stepped in to encourage and support us by giving me rides to my appointments and bringing a few meals. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how amazing it was to have jars of soups and a “hot dish” (aka Minnesota for casserole) in the fridge just ready to go. I couldn’t cut food, maneuver pots & pans, or even eat with my right hand, so knowing that we were stocked with easy-to-heat-up and easy-to-eat meals was such a tremendous gift.
All of the food was great, but one of my favorites was a Carrot & White Bean Soup my friend Cheri brought over to me. I must admit that when I saw what looked like large jars of carrot baby food, I was thankful, but a little skeptical. But, I’ve learned one thing about Cheri and it is that she has great taste. Her cooking is also legendary in our church. So, I brushed any skepticism aside, heated it up, and drank it right out of a mug. It was heavenly. And I was making a snack out of the bag of homemade croutons she brought to pair with the simple, pureed soup.
The soup reminded me a little bit of a white bean soup we had in Barga last fall. It didn’t have carrots in it, but it had a similar mild, earthy flavor. Cheri used THIS RECIPE from Tasty Kitchen. I’m sure she tweaked it a little because the soup she made wasn’t spicy. So, I took this recipe and have made a few batches with my own twist over the past couple of weeks and I thought I would share the recipe I came up with.
The great thing about this soup is that you literally dump it all in a pot (no sauteeing), cook it, puree it, and serve it. Done.
I stuck mostly to the original recipe, but I added three things I put in almost every soup – onions, garlic, and wine…
Carrot & White Bean Soup
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 5 carrots washed & sliced
- 1/2 medium-sized sweet onion diced
- 1 15 ounce can White/Cannellini Beans drained & rinsed
- 1 14 ounce can vegetable broth unsalted
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 garlic clove
- salt & pepper to taste
- On a large, heavy stockpot, combine all ingredients except salt & pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 45 minutes or until carrots and onions are tender.
- Remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender or in the stockpot with an immersion blender.
- Serve topped with homemade croutons and fresh parsley or microgreens.
For the croutons, I tried a couple of different types of bread and I liked the way a traditional French baguette worked the best. Let it sit for a day or two before making the croutons.
I mixed extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup, but enough to coat the bread cubes), 1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (you can substitute with a mix of rosemary, oregano, and basil), 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder, and about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.
I threw the breadcrumbs into the bowl, gave them a good mix with a wooden spoon…
…and then spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I tried both tin foil and parchment and parchment was definitely the way to go. The cheese doesn’t stick to it and the croutons come right off.
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. I made one batch and cooked them for the 25-30 minutes indicated on the recipe and they turned out really crispy and brown. They were still good, but a little too far for me. So, I cooked this batch at 20 minutes and that was about perfect. (The ones in my “beauty shot” of the soup were the ones cooked for 25 minutes, so you can see they were edible but very brown.)
You can serve them right away or allow them to cool and store them in a ziplock bag for 2-3 days.