White Bean Soup With Wild Mushrooms and chive mascarpone
This elegant soup is just a simple purée of white beans, but when
topped with earthy sautéed wild mushrooms and a dollop of herbed
mascarpone cheese, it becomes a refined first course. The trick to
getting a smooth, silky texture is to purée the beans and vegetables
with only a small amount of the cooking liquid first and then to slowly
pour in more liquid until you get a nice, creamy consistency.
How to make:
1 T bs. fennel seeds
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin
1 small sprig rosemary (leaves
1 chile d’árbol (or other small,
hot dried chile), stemmed
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel
1 T bs. plus 1 tsp. fresh thyme
2 cups dried cannellini beans,
picked through and rinsed
K osher salt
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 T bs. minced shallots
1 T bs. minced fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
1 T bs. unsalted butter
1/2 lb. fresh wild mushrooms,
stems trimmed, caps thinly
sliced (such as shiitake,
oyster mushrooms, or
1 T bs. chopped fresh flat-leaf
- Toast the fennel seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until
they release their aroma and are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound
them coarsely in a mortar or grind them coarsely in a spice grinder.
- Heat a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over high heat for 2 minutes. Pour in
1/2 cup olive oil and add the rosemary leaves and crumbled chile. Let
them sizzle in the oil for about 1 minute. Add the onion, fennel, fennel
seeds, and 1 Tbs. of the thyme and cook until the onion is softened,
3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the beans to the pot and cook for a few more minutes, stirring
to coat well. Add 3 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Turn the heat to low and place a round of parchment over the beans
to keep them underwater. Simmer, stirring occasionally. After
30 minutes, add 11/2 Tbs. salt to the beans and continue cooking at a
low simmer until the beans are tender, another 1 to 11/2 hours.
- While the soup is cooking, stir the mascarpone, shallots, and chives
in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover with plastic
wrap, and refrigerate.
- Separate the bean mixture from the liquid by straining the soup
over a bowl. Put half the bean mixture in a blender with 1/2 cup of the
liquid (you’ll need to purée the soup in batches). Process on the
lowest speed until the mixture is puréed. With the blender running at
medium speed, slowly pour in more of the liquid until the soup is the
consistency of heavy cream. Turn the speed up to high and blend until
completely smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside and repeat with the
second batch. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Keep the soup warm in a pot on the stove. If making ahead, let cool
completely before refrigerating.
- Sauté the mushrooms: Turn on the exhaust fan. Heat a 12-inch
skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the remaining 2 Tbs. olive
oil and the butter. When the butter melts, scatter the mushrooms
into the pan. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook the
mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they’re tender, browned, and a
little crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1 tsp.
thyme and remove from the heat.
- Ladle the hot soup into warm bowls. Scatter the warm mushrooms
over the top and add a dollop of the mascarpone. —Suzanne Goin
PER SERVING: 490 CALORIES | 15G PROTEIN | 40G CARB | 32G TOTAL FAT | 10G SAT
FAT | 16G MONO FAT | 2.5G POLY FAT | 40MG CHOL | 700MG SODIUM | 9G FIBER
The soup and chive mascarpone
can be made up to 1 day
in advance and refrigerated.
The mushrooms can be sautéed
a few hours ahead. Reheat
the soup and mushrooms just
If making the soup ahead,
save the leftover cooking liquid.
The soup will thicken as it sits
and may need to be thinned
with more of the liquid before
serving. If necessary, adjust the
seasonings as well.