time for beans and greens

It's veggie/healthy/detox week here at the Casa Moshan. We have indulged in rich food and drink for too long and need a break. So this weekend I got out my healthy cookbooks: Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food II. And last night, as the temperatures outside dropped to 5 degrees, I made an adapted version of her White Bean and Broccoli Rabe Soup (recipe below).

A few months ago I paid $65 to see her speak about food and wound up drinking a plastic cup of water in a middle school auditorium while the speakers crackled and buzzed and I could barely hear her answers to inane questions like "How did you start cooking?"

But I gotta say this soup was perfect. I altered the original a bit: bacon instead of pancetta, canned white beans instead of dried chickpeas, and simplified it (ie no fresh herbs which I never have on hand.) But it was super satisfying and a good model for hearty winter soups in general-use any beans, any greens, etc.

White Bean and Broccoli Rabe Soup

  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp spices: dried oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can white beans
  • 2 cups stock and 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe; washed, drained, and coarsely chopped
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and celery and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Turn down the heat if the vegetables start to brown too quickly.
  3. Add salt, pinch of cayenne, 1 tsp dried oregano, pepper, garlic and beans. Cook for 3 minutes
  4. Add beans and their liquid, plus 2 cups broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Throw in the broccoli rabe and cook for another 10 min.
  6. Taste for salt and garnish with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.