Rosemary and White Bean Soup

This soup falls into the category of “Total Classic” and deservedly so. The silky bean and vegetable soup and the woody aroma of rosemary make for perfect complements to each other, the starch of the beans standing up to rosemary’s strong flavor, and the flavor of the rosemary bringing out depths of flavor in the beans that otherwise might remain hidden. I always like to make these kinds of soups with dried beans — it’s more economical and the careful cooking of the dried beans with various aromatics ensures that they come into the soup as flavorful as possible. It only takes a little bit more time and forethought to put together a soup with dried beans, and the reward is worth it.

Rosemary and White Bean Soup

I’ve topped this soup with a classic gremolata for a burst of freshness against the winter flavors of the soup — feel free to omit it, or top the soup with something else of your choosing.

Spices used in this recipe


Rosemary, Cut & Sifted
Salt, Kosher
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried white beans, such as cannellini
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the blade of a knife
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanns Rosemary
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Vanns Bay Leaf
  • Vanns Kosher Salt and Vanns Black Tellicherry Peppercorns, freshly ground, to taste

Preparation

  1. Place the beans in a medium bowl with 1 Tbs. of kosher salt and cover with water by at least 1 inch. Allow to soak at room temperature overnight.
  2. About 2 hours before you want to serve the soup, drain the beans. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then sauté the onions until translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 more minutes. Add the dried rosemary and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the drained white beans, bay leaf, 2 quarts of water, and a good pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Partially cover and maintain a very gentle simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the beans are very soft and smooth. The best way to tell when they’re ready is by taste — try a bean and see if it offers some crunch or any other kind of rough texture. If they’re silky smooth all the way through, you’re done!
  3. Allow the soup to cool for about 15 minutes to avoid any risk of burning yourself. While you’re waiting, you can go ahead and make the gremolata if you like — directions are below. 
  4. When beans have cooled slightly, use a hand blender or regular blender to puree the beans in batches until silky smooth. Return the bean puree to the pot and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with gremolata and a drizzle of good olive oil, with some crusty toasted bread for dipping.

Serves 6-8.

GREMOLATA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  1. Grate the lemon zest into a small bowl using a microplane or other fine grater. Add chopped parsley and minced garlic. Can be made up to 6 hours ahead of time — store covered in the refrigerator. 

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