Truffle & White Bean Soup

2 December 2005

It’s been really cold and miserable here since the clocks went back – I’ve got so many chilblains on my feet! I’m afraid we’ll need lots of comfort food this winter, especially warm, hearty soups.

This soup – found in Starters by Shane Osborn – looks similar to Spanish almond soup but it’s made with haricot beans. I was intrigued by the combination of the ingredients – adding pancetta (although you puree it in the end) as well as the beans and other vegetables, and droplets of truffle oil make this soup even more delicious! Rather than following the recipe by keeping half the cooked beans (to add whole to the final soup), I pureed them all as I wanted a thick smooth finish; I also reduced the quantities of garlic and pancetta to almost half the suggested amount as I didn’t want them to overpower the taste. The end result was just what I wanted, simple but full of flavour. I used white truffle oil this time, but I’m sure black truffle oil will work as good as white.

Serves 6

100g haricot or cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight
1 whole garlic bulb (I used half)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
1 sprig each of rosemary, thyme and parsley
200g piece pancetta/smoked bacon (again, I used 100g)
2 litres chicken stock
100g unsalted butter
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 (preferably lemon) thyme sprig
150g double cream
1 tbsp truffle oil, plus extra to drizzle

To cook the beans
Drain the pre-soaked beans, place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, drain and return to the pan. Cut the garlic bulb in half crossways and add one half to the pan with the onion, carrot, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Roughly chop half the bacon and add to the pan. Add the stock, and simmer until the beans are tender (about one and a half hours). Remove and discard the herbs, vegetables and garlic.

The soup base
Dice the remaining bacon. Peel and finely chop the other half of the garlic. Melt the butter in a pan and add the bacon, garlic, shallots and lemon thyme. Cover and sweat over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the shallots are soft.

The pureed soup
Add the beans, stock and cream to the soup base. Simmer for about 15 minutes and remove from the heat. Cool slightly, then pour into a blender and whiz until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan then stir in the truffle oil. To serve, finish with a few more droplets on top.

Food - Savoury        20 comments    Permalink

  • Great recipe! I really love soups, i’ll try this combination next season. With summer aproaching, now i’m thinking more about gazpachos. :) But this goes definitly in my list for the next winter...

    P.S.: Beautiful photo (as usual)! It makes me feel the warmth of the dish...

    Posted by Marcela | 2 December 2005 #
  • just the thing i have been looking for! i was out eating on tuesday with my bro and my sis-in-law and i had veloute of white haricot beans and absolutely loving it... thanks keiko!

    Posted by Lil | 2 December 2005 #
  • must be the weather everybody is making soup.But must not complain Athens is having warm days. I just came in 1130pm and I was wearing a t shirt with a pullover then a vest jacket thats it.

    right now am cooking mung beans soup.

    I try this soup I just got a white truffle oil...I think the black one has a stronger taste. Maybe that will be on my xmas wish list.

    out topic.. photo of fjord: southwest norway the rest of it , switzerland...I was in Oslo for 3months and expercienced the delightful food scene up there. Expexsive though but good quality!

    Posted by sha | 2 December 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    So pretty in white and so creative of you in using the truffle oils to create those cute polka dots.

    Yes, agree one wiill always find comfort in Warm hearty soup in cold weather. Fills you up and yet gentle of the digestive system.Perhaps a little ginger with create a little more warm (my typically remedy for colds)

    actually I’m terribly afraid of colds, and that’s the reason I will almost NEVER plan for winter travels. ALMOST? well, ok, there are exceptions to this rule =)

    take care!

    Posted by slurp! | 3 December 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, this soup looks so comforting.

    I think i’m going to try it tonight. Is the truffle oil necessary, or would it be good without? (poor young student can’t buy truffle oil)...

    By the way, i was wondering about something. Actually, my boyfriend’s father brought back japanese biscuits from Tokyo a year ago and i stent all day trying to find them on the net with NO result.

    They were like cinnamon "crepe dentelle" (you must know the crepe gavottes Pierre Herme uses in his Plaisir Sucre, they’re quite the same) dipped in a strawberry flavoured chocolate. The only thing i can remember is that thy were wrapped in pink foil.

    I deeply hope you know what they are. Crossed fingers...



    Posted by fanny | 3 December 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    Every morning after Google News I open your site to see what we have in the kitchen today. Some days I go hungry and than I open the book "JAPAN THE BEAUTY OF FOOD" by Reinhart Wolf, Thames and Hudson 1987.

    Photography and text superb, similar to yours. If you can get hold of it you should. I just scanned cover photo

    Posted by | 3 December 2005 #
  • sorry, wanted to paste 12kb photo when mail gone!

    Posted by ivan | 3 December 2005 #
  • That looks SO good! Again, your photo is exquisite!

    Posted by Melissa | 4 December 2005 #
  • Keiko - I havent had a single chilblaine since I moved to SF whereas I was plagued by them in the UK. Maybe you should try grating them into the soup or something. Hey - what do you mean that sounds gross? - they sound kind of cute to me. I would imagine they’d be something like jerusalem artichokes.

    [Just kidding, only trying to counteract all the comments you normally get with something more original, you know what I mean?]

    delete me if you want to


    Posted by sam | 4 December 2005 #
  • I just love the presentation, Keiko. The little polka dots of ok? Too delightful.

    Posted by Nic | 4 December 2005 #
  • Nice one Keiko. Sorry can’t think of anything more original!

    Posted by Barbara | 4 December 2005 #
  • Looks so delicious and perfect as usual. Your postings are so elegant. Thanks.

    Posted by Fran | 4 December 2005 #
  • People have no shame.

    All these orgasms in public!

    Posted by sam | 5 December 2005 #
  • I had to look up what chilbains were. I am so sorry! I love your site, it’s so beautiful. The Truffle and White Bean soup sounds delicious!

    Posted by hag | 5 December 2005 #
  • loved the polka-dotted truffle oil spots, even a plain-looking white bean soup looks highly sophisticated in your hands, mighty impressed:)

    Posted by eatzycath | 5 December 2005 #
  • Looks great...

    Posted by Caroline | 6 December 2005 #
  • Your soup sounds (and looks) fantastic. I wish I could eat a spoonful right now...

    Posted by megwoo | 7 December 2005 #
  • Do you take all of the photos on your blog. If so, go apply for a job at a magazine and than charge a ridiculously high price for your work. Honestly.

    Posted by Andrew | 7 December 2005 #
  • Gorgious picture for a fantastic soup ! I must try that one !



    Posted by Fred | 8 December 2005 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much for all your kind notes.

    Marcela - I still can’t imagine what it is like to have christmas and new year in summer, it must be great...

    Lil - it was really delicious, hope you enjoy it too.

    Sha - mung beans soup! Yum! I love drizzling truffle oil over lots of things, it really enhances flavours.

    I thought it was Norway but wasn’t sure. We’ve been to southwest Norway by motorbike and absolutely loved the scenery, such a beautiful place. Looking forward to seeing more of your gorgeous pictures.

    Slurp - I agree that ginger is really good to warm you up. I thought you travel all the time :)

    Fanny - of course you can make it without truffle oil, but it definitely adds the finish touch :) You should be able to get a small bottle not too expensive. I was thinking what it was that your father brought back from Japan, but I’m not sure... I’ll try to ask my friends in Japan.

    Ivan - thanks again for the picture - the book sounds interesting, I’d love to read it some time.

    Sam - thanks for your original comment ;) I think my chilblains will get better if I grate them into the soup :)

    Hag - I thought it was called frostbite at first, but my husband said that frostbite was much more serious!

    Megwoo - it’s got lots of bacon in it...

    Posted by keiko | 16 December 2005 #

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