For the past few months at home, we’ve been cooking a side dish of cannellini beans in a garlic-and-chile flake-infused olive oil from Alison Roman’sDining In. The strong aromatics pair so well with the earthy and subdued taste of the beans. I had been thinking that this could work really well in a soup too, and after not being able to find a comparable soup recipe on the internet, I decided to write my own.
1 medium Onion, diced
6 Cloves of Garlic, sliced
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cans Cannellini Beans (with their liquid)
1 quart of Water or Homemade Chicken or Vegetable Stoc
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Black Pepper
Add olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a heavy-bottomed pot. Turn heat to medium low, stirring the garlic and chile flakes as they heat up and infuse the olive oil with their flavors. Carefully watch the pot, as you don’t want to let the oil get too hot and cook the garlic or red pepper flakes too quickly, or too much. Each can burn and give an acrid taste to the soup.
When the garlic is a light golden color and the chile flakes still have some red to them, add the diced onion, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat to medium, stir thoroughly, and saute for 5 minutes. Again, watch the garlic to make sure the garlic does not burn.
Add the water or stock and two cans of beans and their liquid, turn heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. When the soup starts to bubble, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Using an immersion blender, or in a traditional blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add remaining can of beans and their liquid and cook for 5 minutes. Taste, add salt and pepper as needed, then serve.
You can top this soup with so many things. A drizzle of good olive oil, grated parmesan, gremolata, crisped pancetta, or garlic croutons are all excellent calls.