This hearty vegetable-based dish makes a meal on its own, though you can stir in shredded precooked chicken in the end, if you like. Use all green beans if Romano and yellow wax beans are unavailable.
Cooking Light JUNE 2009
1. To prepare stew, cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and set aside.
2. Add garlic to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add red pepper; cook 20 seconds, stirring frequently. Add beans and salt; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, rosemary, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.
3. Preheat oven to 425°.
4. To prepare crostini, brush oil evenly over cut sides of bread; rub bread with cut sides of garlic. Sprinkle one side of each piece of bread evenly with rosemary. Arrange slices on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese; serve each with 2 crostini.
Wine note: The crisp flavor of fresh beans is echoed beautifully in New Zealand's sauvignon blancs, where melon and passion fruit meet the green nuances of sweet peas and bell pepper. While some of these wines have crept up in price, the lively Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007 ($10) is a good example at a great price, finishing dry with acidity that cuts the bacon like a knife. —Jeffery Lindenmuth
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