White Bean and Fennel Soup

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 pound dried white beans or three 15 oz cans

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary

1 fennel bulb, cleaned and sliced

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

salt and pepper

If using dried beans, soak the beans overnight.  Drain the soaking liquid, and place the beans in a saucepan.  Cover the beans with water, bring to a boil and simmer, with a lid, until the beans are cooked, approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  If the water level gets low while cooking, add enough water to keep the beans covered.  Drain and set aside

  1. Place a large stockpot over a medium heat. When it’s heated, add the olive oil, then the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and fennel. Sauté until the vegetables are barely cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Add the rosemary, and mix this in with the vegetables
  2. Add the stock and beans, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking
  3. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.

NOTE:  This soup looks even better puréed.  You can do this with a food processor or stick/immersion blender.

Yield: Approximately 11 cups (almost 3 quarts)