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White Bean Soup with Black Pepper Croutons and Truffle Oil

Yield 7 cups
This soup is the splurge course. If you can't find truffle oil, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over each serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried great Northern beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black Pepper Croutons
  • White truffle oil or extra-virgin olive oil

How to Make It

  1. Sort and rinse beans; place in a Dutch oven. Cover with water 2" above beans. Bring beans to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans; set aside.

  2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté 10 minutes or until golden. Add beans, chicken broth, bay leaves, and thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar and salt. Cool slightly. Remove and discard bay leaves.

  3. Process 3 cups bean mixture in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Stir into remaining soup in Dutch oven. Spoon into soup bowls; top each serving with a Black Pepper Crouton, and drizzle with about 1 teaspoon truffle oil.