I had high hopes for this weekend. I wanted to go into the city early on Saturday, buy a companion fish for my upside down catfish, buy some groceries at the Union Square Green Market, and rush home to cook a fabulous meal. What I wasn’t counting on was spending most of the weekend fighting off a cold/flu in bed.
After sleeping in bed for most of the weekend, by Sunday afternoon I was starting to gain back some of my strength. I didn’t want the whole weekend to be a wash so I wanted to cook something that would give me strength but that I could also feel accomplished cooking.
I recently had a really wonderful white bean soup at El Quijote restaurant in New York City. My family has been going there for years to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and any other special events that happen in our lives. I had the soup on my last visit and really enjoyed it. I made sure to add it on to my “must-make” list and found this to be a perfect opportunity to give it a try.
White Bean and Spinach Soup with Leeks – serves 436 ounces of Chicken Broth 1 cup of water 1 lb white beans 6 cloves of garlic, minced 4 leeks (bulbs), diced ½ white onion, diced 2 carrots, cut into ½ in. pieces 1 large potato, cubed into 1 in. pieces 1 parmesan cheese rind 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp rosemary 2 tbsp salt ½ tbsp pepper
- Heat water in a pot. Once the water is hot, turn the heat off, add the beans and let sit for one hour. Once the beans are done soaking, drain and rinse with water in a colander.
- 10 minutes before the beans are done soaking, add olive oil to the pot you will cook the soup in and turn on the heat to medium. After a few minutes add the leeks and onions and stir until softened, or about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth, beans, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until the beans are almost fully cooked, stirring occassionally.
- Add carrots and potatoes to the soup and cook for another 15 minutes. Feel free to add ½ cup-1 cup of water to the soup if you feel it is necessary at this point.
- Add spinach and let wilt into the soup, about 5 minutes or so. Stir occassionally.
- Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan
The soup came out really great and it really helped to clear up my sinuses… at least for a little while. I also made enough to have for a lunch and dinner this week. It was really filling, had lots of fresh vegetables, and even though it took a long time to make, it was mostly a hands off meal. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to call this soup my “cure your cold and flu white bean soup”.
Update: While it wasn’t my complete cure all it really did help to clear up my sinuses. However, it was no match for my fever so I ended up staying home sick yesterday. The silver lining? I got to have the soup for dinner last night and after having sat for a day it was even more packed with flavor! So how am I feeling today? Not 100%, but I am posting this so that’s a good sign!