Borlotti Bean Soup
|Dried borlotti beans/Cranberry beans||16 Ounce|
|Fresh thyme||1 Teaspoon, minced|
|Fresh rosemary||1 Teaspoon, minced|
|Fresh sage leaves||2 , minced|
|Fresh italian parsley||1 Tablespoon, minced|
|Garlic cloves||2 , minced|
|Bacon||3 Ounce, cut into 1/4 inch strips (1/4 Cup)|
|Tomato concasse||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Diced yellow onion||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Diced celery||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Diced carrots||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Extra virgin olive oil||4 Tablespoon|
Soak the beans for a minimum of 5 hours (overnight if possible) in a pot of cold water. Make sure the beans are covered by at least 2 inches of water. Once soaked, drain the beans and make sure there is no debris mixed in with them (little tiny rocks are common). Boil about 6 cups of water and add then beans simmering for around 40 minutes or until tender. Add a sprig of thyme, sage, one clove of garlic and some parlsey stems to help flavor the water (and beans). Also, skim any scum off of the top of the water. Once tender, drain the beans reserving the cooking liquids too.
While your beans are simmering, begin to prepare the rest of the soup. First, place the bacon in a stock pot (anything over 4 quarts will do) over low heat and cook slowly to melt some of the fat. Do not crisp or burn the bacon. After about 5+ minutes you should have a tablespoon or two of fatty liquid at the bottom of the pan. Remove the bacon bits and drizzle in another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped thyme, rosemary and garlic and saute over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Don't brown the garlic. Add the remaining vegetables into the pot and continue to cook until they are soft, but not brown. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Now, it's time to add the beans along with the cooking liquids. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then puree a few cups of the soup in a blender until smooth, then return it to the pot. This will give the soup a nice consistancy. Continue to simmer the soup for an additional ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the bowl and serve. The soup tastes better after a day of rest.