Tomato and White Bean Soup With Lots of Garlic
This recipe makes the most out of just a handful of pantry ingredients, like canned white beans, a can of tomatoes and a full head of garlic. The soup owes its surprisingly rich and complex flavor to how the garlic is cooked: By smashing the cloves, you end up with different sizes and pieces of garlic. These cook irregularly, which means you’ll taste the full range of garlic’s flavors, from sweet and nutty to almost a little spicy. Simmer the lightly browned garlic with white beans and tomatoes, then blend, and you have a creamy, cozy soup that’s endlessly adaptable: Add aromatics to the simmering pot, or make it spicy with harissa, smoked paprika or chipotle. Top with pesto, croutons, cheese, cooked grains, greens or a fried egg.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 10garlic cloves
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2(14-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or great Northern, including their liquid
- 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1cup stock or water, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Heavy cream, for serving
Step 1Peel the garlic, then smash the cloves using a meat pounder or the bottom of a heavy skillet until wispy and flat.
Step 2In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil, then add the crushed garlic, and cook, smashing with the back of a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan, 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 3Add the white beans and their liquid, crushed tomatoes, stock or water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then partly cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until thickened and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 4Using an immersion or regular blender, purée the soup until smooth. Add cream or stock or water to thin as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with heavy cream before serving.