Creamy Cannellini Bean and Amaranth Soup
Cannellini beans are especially pleasing to the palate in the company of fresh herbs, and amaranth is a wonderful whole grain thickener that makes this hale-and-hearty soup plenty filling enough to be a main dish. For a super-thick and creamy soup, puree all of the soup rather than leaving half of the beans whole.
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup amaranth
2 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the amaranth grains, stock, bay leaf, and tomato paste and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the bay leaf from the amaranth mixture, add 1 cup of the beans, and use a handheld immersion blender to puree in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, puree the beans in a food processor, add the amaranth mixture – working in batches if necessary – and puree again until smooth, then return to the pot.)
4. Stir in the remaining beans, the herbs, and the salt. Warm gently just to heat through. If desired, thin the soup with additional stock (heat before adding to avoid overcooking the soup). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe courtesy of Lori Sobelson, from the Bob’s Red Mill cookbook Whole & Healthy Grains for Every Meal of the Day.
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 350 , Total Fat: 9 g, (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g), Sodium: 1290 mg, Carbohydrate: 57 g, Fiber: 12 g, Protein: 15 g.
makes: 4 servings
serving size: 1 cup