Tuesday, December 27, 2011

White Bean Puree

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White bean puree topped with ham
White bean puree topped with ham

My in-laws try to come out to see us on this side of the country about once a year.  Their trip is a very long one so when they finally make it here we always try to ensure that we do something extra special just for them.  I would guess at least four years ago Peter and I got a sitter and took them to the Salish Lodge for lunch.  This is definitely a special occasion destination for dining, but the view and the scenery can all be enjoyed for free.

This recipe is for a soup that they served that day which both my mother-in-law and I had.  We loved it.  I wanted to recreate it at home and I think I succeeded.  The cream is a luxury that can be substituted with skim milk and overall the soup will still taste great.  I topped mine with some leftover ham cubed up and reheated in a skillet for a couple of minutes.  I have also enjoyed it with sautéd greens like kale or spinach.

White Bean Puree
White kidney beans are also known as Cannellini beans. Any small white bean will work in this recipe. This could easily be made into a vegetarian dish but the stock used needs to be very flavorful.
  • 2 cans (15 oz) white beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup light cream
  • 2 cups ham stock
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the minced onion and garlic and saute gently until the onions are translucent.Rinse the 2 cans of any small white bean of your choice (I really like white kidney beans). Add them to the onions and garlic and then add enough well flavored stock (ham or chicken) to just cover the beans. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until all of the stock is absorbed, stirring as needed. Repeat this process one more time by adding enough stock until the beans are just covered again and simmer until the stock is absorbed.Pour the entire contents of the sauce pan into a blender and add 1/3 cup of cream. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Be very careful blending hot food items! Hold the lid firmly the entire time and cover the top with a dish towel before blending.If your puree is too thick, add a touch more cream or stock and blend until it is to your liking. Pour the hot soup into a bowl and top with a few crispy bits of ham for garnish. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings