It was a cold and rainy day yesterday. We haven’t had many days like that this winter, so I figured I had to take advantage of it while I could. And make soup! What could be more comforting than a bowl of soup while the rain hits the windows!
I’ve been on kind of a bean kick lately, trying lots of recipes involving beans in all sorts of ways. In this soup, they’re pureed down to a creamy delicious soup that’s loaded with vegetables. This sort of thing really is the best way to get me to eat my veggies! And like Courtney always says, make sure to fully read through the recipe! I initially forgot to add the lemon at the end, so when I tasted the soup it was definitely missing something. But once the lemon was in there, it gave it the perfect little zing it needed. And the prosciutto on top was the icing on the cake!
White Bean Soup with Crisped Prosciutto
Yield: about 8 cups
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
4 large sage leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
6 – 8 thin slices prosciutto
1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed
In a large 8-quart pot, heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the celery and carrot; cook until softened slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the sage, garlic, and bay leaf and continue to cook for 2 more minutes, or until aromatic.
Add the chicken stock and beans; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are soft and have started to break down, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Brush both sides of the prosciutto with olive oil and place each piece on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until they are slightly darker and wrinkly, 10 to 15 minutes; they will become crisp as they cool. Once cooled, break into shards and set aside.
To finish the soup, remove the bay leaf and puree the soup with an immersion blender, or use a blender or food processor and puree the soup in batches. Stir in the lemon juice and add more if needed; salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with the crisped prosciutto.