This is another post with no pictures, sorry guys :-( It's partially because by the time I get done making dinner it's pretty dark out now and I don't feel like dealing with the lighting. It's also partially because I use my camera for work every day now and I often accidentally leave it in my car, and then don't feel like going out to get it when there is hot delicious food waiting to be eaten. So basically laziness, I promise the next post will have pictures though :-)
So anyway, on with the post. In 2006 my family took a trip to Italy (specifically Florence) over the Christmas holidays. I have to say it was one of the best trips I've ever taken, it's amazing how much art and culture can exist in one place. And oh my gosh the food! We drank wine with every meal, had some of the best pasta I've ever tasted and had gelato at least 3 times a day. While I was there I had the most amazing white bean soup and I've been on a quest to replicate it ever since.
Last night I came pretty close and by adapting a number of recipes I came up with something magical. here is the recipe, I encourage you to try it, it was amazing and we ended up eating all of it and scraping up the last bits from the bottoms of our bowls, mm mmm!
1 large carrot
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
1 tbs olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard coarsely chopped
1 lb Italian sausage
1 8oz can pureed tomatos
2 cans white beans
2 cups chicken broth (or water with chicken bullion)
4 tbs cooking sherry
2 bay leaves
Pepper to taste
Shaved parmesan cheese to garnish
I started by chopping my garlic, celery, onion and carrots and sautéing them in a little olive oil for about 2 or 3 minutes in a dutch oven. I then added the Italian sausage and cooked all of those things together until the sausage was browned and the onions, carrots, celery and garlic were tender. I then added my chicken broth, white beans, bay leaves, sherry, pepper, chopped swiss chard and pureed tomatos. I didn't find that the recipe needed any extra salt but you can decide that for yourself if you try it. I brought all of this to a boil and then reduced the heat and let it simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the chard was tender. After that we scooped it up in to big bowls, topped it shaved parmesan cheese and enjoyed it with a cold beer. It was delightful! It had a rich savory flavor and the chard added just the right amount of earthy bitterness. It was very hearty and filling and we will definitely be making it again.