Wednesday, April 11, 2012

White Bean, Anchovy and Chicory Soup

A very unexpected combination of flavors. This soup works!
I had a pasta with beans, anchovy and chicory in an Italian restaurant a couple weeks ago and the combination was so unusual and delicious that I decided I had to try it without the pasta.

Here it goes:

3 tablespoons of finely minced good qualityAnchovies. (the ones that come in olive oil. Careful with the ones that come packed in salt. it may be too salty. use less, or "hydrate them" with a little hot water  to remove some of the salt.)
1 tbsp olive oil.
3 large cloves of garlic, minced.
1 1/2 cup of white wine.
4 cups of cooked white beans. I cooked dry lima beans in the pressure cooker for 50 minutes but you can use from a can.
4 cups of coarsely chopped chicory.
a pinch of piment de'espelette ( cayenne would work too)
1 cup of chicken stock (low sodium) or more.

Start by sauteing the garlic in olive oil.  Add the anchovies, give it a nice stir to blend and make a runny paste. Add the wine and cook for a minute.
Add the beans with a little cooking liquid, and the piment de'espelette or cayenne and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, let it simmer for a 5 minutes and add the chicory, mixing well. You may want to add a little more chicken stock at this point.
Simmer for another 6 minutes and check the salt. You want to add the salt at the very end. Also, adjust
the pepper if you like a little spicier and add a little splash of wine if needed.
Serve with grated parmesan and a hot crusty sourdough or baguette.

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