This creamy soup, served in tiny cups and bright with chive oil, is easy to make and serve. Kids will like the little cups and the crazy green swirl. Adults will appreciate the healthfulness and the flavor.
2 cups dried Great Northern or other small white beans, rinsed and picked over
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 large tomato, halved, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
8 garlic cloves, chopped
11 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth, or more as needed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chive Oil for drizzling (recipe follows)
Put the beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches, and let soak overnight. Drain.
Heat the olive oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, leeks, tomato, carrots, celery, and garlic and saute until tender, about 6 minutes.
Add the beans, chicken stock, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender, about 1 hour.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add the half-and-half, then add more chicken stock to thin the soup if needed, and reheat the soup if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into espresso cups and top each with a few squirts or a drizzle of chive oil.
Makes 18 small servings