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White bean soup with tomatoes and pistou

Serves 12.FOR THE SOUP

4 cups dried white beans
½ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
4 quarts water
1. Sort through the beans and remove any small stones or debris. Rinse the beans with water in a colander. Place the beans in a large pot and add enough water to come about 3 to 4 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander.

2. In the pot, heat the oil, add the onion and celery, and set the pot on medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, re-cover the pan, and cook for 1 minute.

3. Stir in the drained beans, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 2 minutes more.

4. Add the water, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Cook the soup for 2 hours or until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Add more water during cooking if the soup seems too thick.

FOR THE TOMATOES

4 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Stir well and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.

FOR THE PISTOU

½ cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh spinach
½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1. In a food processor, combine the basil, spinach, oil, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper.

2. Work the mixture in on-off motions for 30 seconds or until the pistou is smooth.

3. To serve the soup, ladle it into bowls. Add a spoon of tomatoes and a teaspoon of the pistou.

Adapted from Marblehead Community Charter Public School

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