Rosemary White Bean Soup


You want to know what is REALLY hard to make look delicious?

That would be, a bowl of this here soup.

I mean, it’s freaking tasty stuff, this soup, but it will definitely be filed under the category of what I like to call, ugly food. Don’t get me wrong, ugly food is almost always tasty – we’ve been over this before – it’s just that you’re going to have to convince your guests/spouse/disbelieving children of that fact before they’ll even sit down to the table. I tried to be all Ina-like and add “a garnish that reflects the flavors present in the dish” – that’s why the rosemary spring is just hanging out over there on the left – because honestly, brown soup is just a wee bit unappetizing.

Okay, so we’ve been over the basics of why you probably WON’T want to try this soup. But this is a food blog, so its not like I’m going to post horrible recipes. So let’s go over the reasons why you should try this, non?


1. It’s a recipe from Ina Garten, whose every recipe is a foodgasm in the making, and who is only second to God in our foodie world next to Martha Stewart. (But is actually first in God’s eyes because Ina hasn’t been to jail. Go Ina.)

2. It’s made with all natural ingredients like chicken stock and white beans, so you know it’s good for you without tasting like cardboard.

3. This is a perfect dish for winter, since it uses just about the only thing “in season” in Colorado – dried beans.

4. The end product is creamy without being heavy, flavorful without being full of fat. The best of both worlds.

5. The ugly factor of food is inversely related to how delicious the food is. So this dish is obviously off the charts. (Obviously.)


So, now that I’ve thoroughly convinced you, Law & Order-style, get thee to your grocery store/farmers market/pantry some cannellini beans.

And make sure to distract your children/spouse/guests with cartoons/sports/booze before you serve this.



Rosemary White Bean Soup

Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 6


The only “adaptations” included reducing the amount of olive oil (because she alway uses a ton, bless her heart) and removing all references to “good” ingredients that will make you feel inferior.


1 pound dried white cannellini beans
4 cups sliced sweet yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch fresh rosemary
6 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
kosher salt, to taste
fresh cracked pepper, to taste


Pick through the beans to remove any pebbles or other debris. In a large bowl, cover beans with at least 2 inches of cold water. Let soak overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain.

In a large stockpot, saute the onions with the olive oil until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. (Note: Instead of adding more olive oil, just add a bit of water if the onions start to burn. And if you do burn the onions, just tell your guests it’s “Caramelized Onion White Bean Soup.”) Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover; bring to a boil, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are soft. Remove rosemary and bay leaf.  Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or puree half of the soup in a blender/food processor. Continue pureeing and mixing until you reach a consistency you like. (I prefer a course puree.) Return the soup to the pot, and reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.



Best Coast / The End



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15 thoughts on “Rosemary White Bean Soup

  1. You know how this soup is not good? If your stupid town doesn’t have any cannellini beans and you substitute Great Northern beans and then you have to throw out the soup because your husband thinks you’re trying to feed him hippie bean curd with a side of cardboard for dinner.

  2. I had to laugh at your “good” ingredient qualification, although I must admit, sometimes I do it myself. But, at least in my case, with olive oil it is never an admonishment to buy a better/fancier/food snobbier olive oil than you might have in your pantry, it’s sort of a shorthand for “the flavor of the olive oil really comes through in this dish, so break out the best you’ve got.” Maybe that’s what Ina means too?

    And, yes, I feel your pain on photographing ugly food: it’s all about the garnish, baby. Or, when really desperate, I just stick a glass of wine in the shot – everything looks better with wine. :)

  3. Oh, I’m definitely a fan of Ina and white beans…both of which I’ve been working with lately. Well, I haven’t worked DIRECTLY with Ina, but I did make her “weeknight bolognese.” It’s so good I’d make it on a weekend!

  4. i disagree darling, this bowl of soup looks divine.

    as i am currently on a Meat Strike (for Lent, HELLFIRE & DAMNATION) this is perfect, avec veggie stock of course.

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