Mediterranean White Bean Soup
|Dried white beans||1 Pound (Large Size Such As Cannellini / Great Northern)|
|Cold water||8 Cup (128 tbs)|
|Fennel bulbs||3 1⁄2 Pound, rinsed (2 Whole, 1 3/4 Pounds Each)|
|Olive oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Onions||4 Medium, cut into 1/2 inch dice|
|Onion||4 Medium, cut into 1/2 inch dice|
|Garlic cloves||4 Large, coarsely chopped|
|Smoked ham hock||8 Ounce (1 Piece)|
|Homemade chicken broth||10 Cup (160 tbs)|
|Defatted chicken broth||10 Cup (160 tbs) (Homemade)|
|Dried thyme||1 Teaspoon|
|Carrots||2 , peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice|
|Ripe plum tomatoes||3 , seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice (For Garnish)|
|Creme fraiche||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (For Garnish)|
1. Rinse beans and soak overnight in cold water.
2. Drain, rinse, and keep aside.
3. Remove and discard ferns from fennel bulbs.
4. Chop fennel bulbs coarsely and set aside.
5. Snip off roots from the bulb and chop into 1/2-inch cubes.
6. In a heavy soup pot, pour oil.
7. Add the fennel bulbs, onions, and garlic.
8. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to wilt the vegetables; stir occasionally.
9. Add beans, ham hock, broth, thyme, allspice, and bay leaves.
10. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat.
11. Cover the pot partially and simmer for about 1 ½ hours until the beans are tender.
12. Remove the ham hock, allspice, and bay leaves.
13. Keep the ham hock aside and let it cool until it can be handled.
14. Separate meat from the bones.
15. In a saucepan, place diced carrots and add enough water to cover.
16. Boil the carrots for 3-5 minutes until just tender.
17. Drain and keep aside.
18. In a food processor or blender, puree 2 cups of soup until smooth.
19. Return the pureed soup back into the pot along with the fennel ferns and shredded meat.
20. Reheat the soup gently.
21. Add the boiled carrots to the soup.
22. In large shallow bowls, ladle soup.
23. Garnish with diced tomatoes.
24. Top with a dollop of creme fraiche.