Sunday, April 18, 2010

Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup

It was pretty chilly here in Wrentham, MA so instead of a nice Spring meal I decided to stick with a nice warm soup and a good panini.  At first Jon and I swore we would be hungry an hour after eating it because it was so light but it's really filling.  The sandwich helped in that department too.  For the sandwich I did pancetta with mozzerella and a tomato slice with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.  My new favorite salad is fresh mozzerella and tomato with balsamic vinigerette.  At first I didn't understand why a slice of tomato and cheese would be good but a friend of mine made me try it for my birthday and I've been hooked ever since. :-)

1 (1 oz) package of dried shiltake mushrooms (I used a package of fresh shiltake mushrooms and it was fine.)
2 cups boiling water
2 tsps olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped fresh spinach (I used escarole since Jon isn't a spinach fan.)
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (16 oz) can cannellini beans, or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth
Fresh thyme (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)
  1. Combine mushrooms and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 15 minutes.  Drain mushrooms in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid.  Chop mushrooms; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add the reserved mushroom liquid, spinach, and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.  Garnish with thyme and red pepper.

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