Jul 272011
 

In my previous post about “Gigantes plaki (γίγαντες πλακί)”, I mentioned that one of the great things about that dish was how the leftover casserole could be turned into a marvelous soup. My family hates leftovers, so most of the time it’s up to me to finish off stuff. This soup, however, saves the day when you’ve cooked up enough Gigantes plaki to serve six but only have two to eat it.

The recipe is adapted from a Tuscan white bean soup recipe found on the Internet. I again credit Greece as the original author. The image is borrowed.

Gigantic bean soup
Serves: 4
A great nutritional bean soup, either made from scratch or using leftover “Gigantes plaki” casserole.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped (about 1 medium yellow onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced (use as much as you like, i.e., 1 to 2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound cannellini beans, or leftover “Gigantes plaki” (usually, for us, about 1/2 the original dish)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves, large
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled, or a handful of fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, ground
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh chopped (optional garnish)
  • 2 green onions, chopped (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. Saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft, stirring often.
From scratch:
  1. Add beans*, water, bay leaves, and basil.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Continue cooking until beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more liquid if necessary and stirring occasionally.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
Using leftover Gigantes plaki:
  1. Add leftover beans, water, bay leaves, and basil.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Season with salt and pepper
Both versions:
  1. Cool soup and reserve one cup of the whole beans.
  2. Puree remaining beans in a hand-held (or regular) blender or food processor fitted with steel blade.
  3. Return pureed soup and whole beans to pot and reheat over moderate heat stirring often.
  4. Blend in remaining olive oil.
  5. Serve soup hot.
Notes

*If making this soup from scratch, either soak the beans over night first or boil them for a few minutes and then turn off the heat and let them soak for an hour. Drain the beans in either case and then continue with the recipe.