I love Ina Garten. Everything about her is chic and fabulous right down to her tailored navy blue shirts . She lives a glamorous life in the Hamptons where she cooks and hangs out with her friends in her gorgeous home and perfectly kept gardens. Her food is simple and rustic yet still perfectly in tune with whatever type of party she is hosting. And the best part is that she never forgets the most important ingredient: the cocktails.
This soup idea came from a recipe Ina made in her show called Four Hour Lamb. Her version looked mouth-wateringly divine, of course, with the tender meat falling off the bone into a bed of white beans cooked with carrots, onions, celery and bundles of fresh herbs. She used a whole bottle of wine for her lamb braise. I didn’t need to use as much for the soup. So, I was lucky to have a glass while I was making it and another to go with my meal. I like to think that Ina would agree with my soup/wine combination. Don’t forget the Parmesan cheese on top and the crusty bread that make this bowl of soup into the perfect French lunch or light dinner, and pour yourself a glass of wine, or two.
Pureed Provencal White Bean Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lamb shoulder chop
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 cups chicken stock
3 15 oz. cans white Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
For serving: Parmesan cheese, crusty bread
Heat oil in a large soup pot on medium high. Season lamb chop with salt and pepper, Sear on both sides then remove from pot. Add onion, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions soften. Add garlic and wine. Tie the thyme and bay leaf together with kitchen twine and add to the pot. Add rosemary and cook until wine reduces to half. Add chicken stock and beans. Cook on low for one hour.
Remove lamb chop and use meat for another use. (It’s pretty tough so I removed the bones and fed it to the dog.) Remove thyme and bay leaf. Puree soup with a hand immersion blender or allow to cool and puree in a regular blender in batches. Return soup to pot on low and add vinegar, Worcestershire and mustard. Stir to combine. Serve topped with Parmesan Cheese and loaf of crusty bread.