Creamy White Bean Soup With Spicy Paprika Oil
As easy as it is fast, this simple blended white bean soup relies upon cheap staples like canned beans, stock, garlic, olive oil, shallots and dried herbs. An artful drizzle of paprika oil enlivens it. While the soup simmers, toast red-pepper flakes and smoked paprika in olive oil to make a vibrant red sauce inspired by Chinese chile oil. The soup is great before blending — it’s more like a stew — but purées to a creamy white. You could top the soup with sautéed quartered button mushrooms, roasted vegetables or toasted croutons, but the paprika oil provides deep flavor, and is the only garnish you truly need.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3large shallots, minced (about 2/3 cup)
- 4large celery stalks, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5garlic cloves, minced
- 3teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or herbes de Provence
- 1 ½teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- ¾teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 6cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3(14-ounce) cans cannellini beans (or chickpeas), rinsed
- 2cups half-and-half or almond milk
- ⅓cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½teaspoons smoked (hot or sweet) paprika
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Step 1Prepare the soup: In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium. Add the shallots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds (if using) and rosemary (if using); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low if needed to avoid browning the vegetables.
Step 2Add the stock and rinsed beans, and bring to a boil over high. Once the mixture comes to a boil, cook over medium-high until flavors meld and stock thickens, about 15 minutes.
Step 3While the soup cooks, prepare the paprika oil: Heat 1/3 cup oil in a small skillet over the lowest heat on your smallest burner. Add the paprika and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, just until toasted and flavors bloom, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain, discarding flakes, then set paprika oil aside.
Step 4Working in batches if needed, transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth, adding half-and-half or almond milk to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 5Divide among bowls and drizzle with strained paprika oil to serve.