TUSCAN WHITE BEAN AND HAM SOUP
This creamy and flavorful soup recipe can be adapted to a vegetarian diet by eliminating the ham and substituting the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 sage leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 15-ounce cans cannelloni beans – drained and rinsed
2 cups ham – chopped into 1 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic – rough chop
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon freshly grated pepper
Place a medium, heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil and shallots. Cook stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened – approximately 5 minutes. Add the sage, 2 cans of beans and chopped ham and stir to combine. Add stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Add garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and pour ½ of the soup into a large bowl. Ladle soup in small batches into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return puree mixture to the soup mixture in the stock pot and stir. Add remaining 2 cans of beans and cream into the soup. Bring the soup back to a gentle simmer. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Ladle in soup bowls and serve with warm Italian bread. Buon appetito!