I accidentally bought a few leeks at the supermarket the other day. Not like they jumped in my basket, onto the conveyor belt and into my bag unnoticed. I was picking up ingredients for a new scallop recipe, and thought it called for leeks, when truly, it was fennel. Oops! So, seeing as though I had these perfectly good leeks in my fridge, begging to be used, I decided to help them meet their destiny with a soup.
While I was making this soup, I was thinking, this is very simple. As in, there isn’t much to it, I sure hope it tastes good. But don’t worry, it does. The practically melted leeks with a hint of thyme have a perfect savory-sweet pairing. The beans give it a needed heft, and the croutons add a nice crisp.
The recipe calls for fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but I made mine without (except for garnishing in the picture). I also used pretzel bread to make the croutons, which tasted absolutely amazing. This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes, so it’s an easy weeknight meal, and is perfect warming agent during this polar vortex hulla-ballew.
White Bean-and-Leek Soup
Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
2 1-inch thick slices rustic bread, cut into 1-inch dice
1 tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1 8.5-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth would be fine if you want to keep it vegan)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet, toss bread crumbs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until bread crumbs become golden brown and crisp.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add leeks and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth, cover and simmer until leeks are very tender, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste. Remove from heat, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired. Serve and top with croutons.