10-Minute White Bean Soup with Toasted Cheese and Tomato
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 6 inches long
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Two 15-ounce cans of cannellini or other white beans, strained and rinsed
- 1 small shallot, peeled, trimmed and halved
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled, trimmed and halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices crusty sourdough bread (each about 1-inch thick; 8 ounces total),
- 3/4 cup grated light mozzarella cheese
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler heat source, and preheat. Bring the wine, rosemary, thyme and 2 cups of the chicken broth to a boil in a covered medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce to a bare simmer.
2. Puree the beans, shallots, garlic, oil, butter, remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper and 1/2 cup of the simmering broth in a blender until completely smooth and emulsified, about 2 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, lay the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and top evenly with the mozzarella. Broil until the tops are browned and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from the oven. Divide the tomatoes evenly among the toasts, and top with the Parmesan.
Remove the herb sprigs from the simmering broth; set aside. Whisk the bean puree into the broth, and return it to a gentle boil. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the reserved herb sprigs and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve with the cheese toasts.
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Blending Hot Liquids: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth.