White Bean & Broccoli Soup w/ Prosciutto & Parmesan
This is the perfect cold weather soup.
One of my favorites of all time.
Now that it's cold outside, don't you want some hot homemade soup?
There's nothing better.
3 tips to make this the BEST soup:
Use homemade stock (you know I always say that!).
Pick broccoli from your garden the day you are making it.
Use dried beans that you soak overnight.
However, if you want to make this a really GOOD soup:
Use low sodium chicken stock in a box.
Use store bought fresh broccoli (I realize not everyone has a garden).
Use canned beans.
This recipe is from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook.
If you are visiting NYC and you want to dine at a terrific classic NYC restaurant that has a changing seasonal menu, then I suggest Union Square Cafe.
It's been a top NY dining spot for 28 years and never fails to impress.
White Bean and Broccoli Soup with Parmigiano and Prosciutto
3/4 cup dried Cannellini or Great Northern Beans (or 2 cans, rinsed & drained)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced celery
4 leeks, sliced, white and light green parts only,
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
2 oz prosciutto, finely diced (you can use bacon or pancetta)
2 c. small broccoli florets (1/2 lb)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
6 cups good chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 c. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sliced w/ a vegetable grater (for garnish),
leftover Parmigiano rinds (if you have them)
Soak the beans in cold water overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Make an herb bundle: In a small piece of clean cheesecloth, place the coriander seeds, peppercorns, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Close the bundle by tying with a piece of kitchen twine.
You can see that I cheated because I have a bag of bouquet garni that a friend brought back from England for me from Fox's Spices.
Melt the butter over a medium flame in a large heavy saucepan; add the onions, celery, leeks, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
Add the herb bundle, beans, and the 6 cups of chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and gently simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
Season with the salt and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender (if you soaked the beans overnight, then they should be nice and tender).
Discard the herb bundle, and the bay leaf, and add the prosciutto and the broccoli, and simmer about 10 minutes, until cooked.
Just before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour the soup into warm bowls and garnish with the shaved Parmigiano.