Thursday, December 18, 2008

{Simple Soup Supper} Union Square White Bean and Broccoli Soup

Last January I enjoyed a lovely meal at the Union Square Cafe in NYC, including a bowl of their fabulous Black Bean Soup. I intend to try making that soup sometime soon using Benton's bacon!

A few weeks ago I was delighted to spy a copy of The Union Square Cafe Cookbook on my mother's bookshelves and this recipe for White Bean and Broccoli Soup with Parmigiano and Prosciutto (recipe at end of this post) jumped out at me. It has all of my favorite flavors, and I had some lovely little heads of broccoli that came in my farm box.

cook's notes:

- This was a fairly easy soup; most of the time is waiting for the beans to soak or cook.

- I couldn't find coriander seeds anywhere local, so I just added a pinch of ground coriander.

- for added flavor, you can add Parmigiano rinds into the soup at the same time you add the salt.

- I froze half of the soup after step 4

the verdict:

Although my husband was deeply suspicious while this soup was cooking, we both loved it and it has earned "keeper" status.

White Bean and Broccoli Soup with Parmigiano and Prosciutto

serves 4

3.4 cup dries cannellini or Great Northern Beans
1 tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp black peppercorns
1 fresh thyme sprig
4 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 T. butter
¾ cup sliced onions
¾ cup sliced celery
¾ cup slices leeks, white and light green parts only, washed
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
2 oz prosciutto, finely diced (1.2 c.)
4 c. broccoli florets (1/2 lb)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
¼ c. shredded or coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Soak the beans in water overnight or for at least 6 hours.

2. Make an herb bundle: In a small piece of clean cheesecloth, place te coriander seeds, peppercorns, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Close the bundle by tying with a piece of kitchen twine.

3. Melt the butter over a medium flame in a 3 quart 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 8 cups water.

4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and gently simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours. Season with the salt and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

5. Discard the herb bundle, add the prosciutto and the broccoli, and simmer 3 to 5 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 grated Parmigiano.


Melissa said...

This looks really great! I could use a bowl with this cold weather.

Cathy said...

LOVE the Union Square Cafe! Why did my sister have to go and move out of Manhattan again? This soup looks fabulous. You really just can't go wrong with parmigiano and prosciutto. I've never made an herb bundle before -- that looks super fun! If you couldn't find coriander seeds then I clearly have no hope whatsoever -- so ground coriander it is! I look forward to trying this!

Audrey said...

I love white bean OR broccoli soup so this recipe is a must-cook for me! And I'll need blog/web recipes to keep me going till I can unpack my cookbooks, so thanks doubly.

Di said...

What great timing! I was just thinking that I should find a new soup to try out this weekend. This may be the one--I like all of the things in it. That first picture looks really tasty.

Kristin said...

Looks delicious! I'm always on the lookout for good soup recipes. How is it as leftovers?

Liz said...

Oh, I love broccoli. I wish my husband loved it so I could make fab soups like this! Sounds awesome.