Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tuscan White Bean Soup

by Williams-Sonoma
1  2lb jar Tuscan White Bean Soup starter
2/3 cup dry Ditalini pasta
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary minced
2 tbsp. fresh basil minced
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup sour cream

Pat dry chicken breasts, cut off any extra fat.  Mix the rosemary, basil, kosher salt, pepper and oil.

Rub herb mixture all over chicken breasts.   

Heat iron grill with some olive oil.  Place seasoned chicken on hot skillet.  Brown on both sides for about 10 minutes each side or until done but do not over cook.

In the meantime cook the pasta according to package directions.  Cook pasta just short of al dente they’ll cook some more when they simmer in the soup.  Drain and set aside.    

In another pot (dutch oven) pour in the whole jar of the Tuscan White Bean Soup, cover and simmer on low.   

When the chicken is grilled on both sides, place on a platter and cover with a sheet of foil.  This keeps the natural juices in the meat.   

Cut two chicken breasts into cubes (look at the juices in that baby!)   

Pour cut up chicken to soup pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes on low. 

Pour cooked pasta into soup pot.  

Stir pot of soup and simmer for 10 minutes more.  

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some home baked buttered dinner rolls. M-m-m-m-m-m-m!  

Taken off the label of the soup jar:  In Tuscan country kitchens, it was once customary to keep a pot of hearty bean soup simmering on the stovetop, ready for family members or guests who dropped by.  Today, many local cooks have a signature recipe for this wholesome soup, which can be enriched with chicken, sausage or macaroni to create a delicious one-pot meal.

Making it easy to enjoy this classic at home our all natural starter is prepared just as it would be in a Tuscan kitchen, where soups are cooked for hours to develop deep, complex flavors.  We’ve combined cannellini beans with a medley of garden favorites:  San Marzano tomatoes, carrots, celery,, onions and red bell peppers.  For classic character, we enrich the soup with dry white wine, adding garlic and parsley for just the right amount of seasoning.

I am a big fan of Ruby Tuesday’s, White Chicken Chili.   It’s a tomato based soup, with navy beans, hot a touch of jalepeño pepper and fresh rosemary and so much more plus they finish it with a dollop of sour cream.  The first time I ate if I loved it so much that I went home and looked the recipe on the internet.  I found a recipe and it seems to be almost exactly like the one at Ruby Tuesdays and I love it.  So when I pulled this jar of soup of the shelf at the Williams-Sonoma store in Short Pump, I kinda figured it would be similar to Ruby Tuesday’s soup.  Well, it isn’t.  I do like the flavor  but the taste is slightly different.  It has a light flavor compare to the hearty home-made made soup I make.  It’s still good and the grilled chicken pieces that I added gave it a more savory flavor and texture.  Don isn’t big on soup only because it isn’t as “filling” but he seemed to have been pretty satisfied with this one.  Yea, it's kinda silly to have soup on a very, hot, muggy day but it didn't matter since we were indoors with the ac on.  ~isavortheweekend

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