White Bean Soup with Chile Oil

White Bean Soup with Chile Oil is a pleasant riff on a basic white bean soup. The Chile Oil, which is very easy to make, punches up the flavor of the dish.

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White Bean Soup with Chive Oil
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Epicurious, November 2012)

Makes 6 servings

2 cups dried Great Northern beans, rinsed and picked over
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 large tomato, halved, seeded, and chopped
½ cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
½ cup chopped celery (about 2 medium)
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
11 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup half-and-half
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Chive Oil for drizzling (see recipe below)

Put the beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches and let soak overnight. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, tomato, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté 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.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of Chive Oil.

Chive Oil

1 bunch fresh chives
½ cup canola oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Blanch and ice bath the chives. Drain the chives and wrap them in a paper towel. Squeeze out excess water.

Put chives in a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve Transfer oil to a plastic squeeze bottle.

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