Sunday, August 28, 2011


You fall through a rabbit hole, and everything's magical, mysterious, but still as real as can be.
You come upon this glowing bowl of soup with a sign on it that says "Eat Me," and you eat it.
Your head starts to spin, in a nice gentle way. You are happier than you've ever felt. Have you been drugged?
No, you have tasted Tuscan Garlic and Bean Soup.
I have to laugh whenever a recipe, or a style of patio furniture, or your roofing tiles is called "Tuscan." What, am I suddenly wearing wrought iron and terra cotta? Should I purchase a palazzo to renovate and fall in love with a hunky Italian guy? That's somewhat dreamy, but I'm afraid the real Tuscany has become overrun with fever-dreaming American ex-pats. Speaking bad Italian, if at all.
Back to the rabbit hole (which is my dream, actually, especially if it has WiFi and I can swipe recipes like this one). There's no point in linking to the recipe, because the version I read was already a departure from a previous recipe... And who knows how original that was?
Cook some white beans. A cup of dried. I will not tell you it's OK to use canned. Drain, saving the liquid, and reserve the beans.
Cut up two cloves of garlic and one plump shallot (these quantities serve two generously). Cook the alliums in oil until tender, and then pour in two cups of well-seasoned chicken stock. Add most of the beans, and hit this mess with an immersion blender. Want more beans in there? It's nice to have some whole. You decide. Do you need more liquid? Splash in a little of the bean water. Oh, seasonings. Gah. I always cook beans with a bay leaf, and our chicken stock is already deeply herby. Check for salt. Here comes the Mad Hatter. You are going to glug in a decent amount of cream.
You have been drugged.


kudzu said...


Ms Brown Mouse said...

OR, skip the cream, significantly reduce the water and smear the mush on good bread ;)

Zoomie said...

Did you see the photo of the guy playing football in deserted Times Square? New Yorkers love drama and Irene cheated them. Tough. That bean soup sounds dramatic, too - gonna make some.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: I hope I'm not dissin' your beloved NYC. The rest of the state took it pretty hard. Sad.

Zoomie: Didn't see that, but it's exactly what I'm talking about.
Bean soup damn good.

Mouse: Of course! I love a bean bruschetta. This was very good slurping, though. I think I've been going too light on garlic lately!

cookiecrumb said...


Kate said...

That's why I prefer Umbria. Less overrun and overmarketed. Fewer beans, no seafood (no coastline, you see), mostly mediocre wine (with one outstanding exception). But. Cavolo nero. Best olive oil in the world. Black truffles strewn about in season like chopped parsley. Uh huh.

We came through unscathed, though the backyard chickens were none too pleased with Irene. They all lived, and chickens have very short memories.

Greg said...

Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call. Sounds so good. I have had the urge for beans lately.

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: You had me at truffles! See you there. :)
Poor chickies, I feel for the silly girls. Glad you are safe and intact. And your garden too, I hope.

Greg: We love beans a lot. A lot, really. Feed your head!