RECIPE: Provencal Beef and Bean Soup
I tried a new recipe from a Sara Foster cookbook last night and it is a keeper. I wouldn't say I followed the directions precisely, LOL, but pretty much! I added a good amount of fresh chopped baby spinach stirred in at the end just before serving and it seemed to go very well in this soup and looked pretty too. This is quite a thick and hearty soup. Oh, and I didn't have the fresh basil that it called for, so just left that out. I think the roasted garlic is a great idea for soup.
PROVENCAL-STYLE BEEF AND BEAN SOUP
from The Foster's Market Cookbook
Makes 2-1/2 to 3 quarts
Serves 6 to 8
1-1/2 cups dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 head garlic, roasted and peeled
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
8 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips (chiffonade)
1. Quick-cook the beans: Place the beans in a large pot with water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, rinse, and set aside.
2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and cook and stir 15 minutes or until light brown. Add the celery and cook and stir 10 minutes longer.
3. Add the garlic and the beef and cook and stir until the beef is brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper and beans and simmer 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours, uncovered, until the beans are soft and the beef is fork-tender.
4. Add the sun dried tomatoes and rosemary and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves. Add the fresh basil and serve immediately.
(Woodie's notes: I omitted the salt and used an entire pound of beans and so I added about 1-1/2 cups of water and I chopped the sun dried tomatoes.)