img_0663The French have the best word for thick, velvety soups: velouté. Even the word is velvety.  And we have been enjoying a velouté of white beans since the Carnivore picked up the recipe at a truffle market, where he got this beauty. They call truffles black diamonds for a reason.

 

It was velouté de haricots lingot et truffe–a thick, velvety white bean soup with truffles. OMG. Lingots are ingots, like the bars of gold, but in this case they refer to the special white beans grown just west of Carcassonne and used for cassoulet.

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Preparing the soup. Note the burlap bag of beans.

Here’s the recipe, handed out at the market. We didn’t follow it precisely because the box of lingots was 500g and we weren’t going to keep 100g sitting around lonely like that. Also, it calls for a 30g truffle, and ours had been whittled down to 13g. I tell you what, it was still fantastic.

We made it again, with rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms–yummy. A good alternative when truffles aren’t available.

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An interesting contraption for measuring the portions.

Like so many French recipes, you have to make it over two days. The night before, soak 400 g (14 oz.) of beans (or more!). Separately, chop up your truffle and infuse it in 10 cl (about 3.5 fluid oz.) of heavy cream. (You might want to keep a few shavings on the side for garnish.) If you don’t have a truffle, use about a half a cup of shiitake mushrooms that you soaked and put through the blender or food processor to get the effect of shavings.

Next day, cook the beans. Start with cold water and cook them for two hours.

Peel and mince half an onion and one carrot (I set out two carrots for the Carnivore to use and he fell for it. And the soup was divine despite double the vegetables.)

When the beans are done, drain them and rinse with fresh water.

In a casserole, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the carrots and onion to soften them but not brown them. Then add the beans and half a liter (17 fluid oz. or just over a cup) of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then drop the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the truffle cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Use a soup mixer to turn it into a creamy, velvety, homogenous texture. If you use a blender, let the soup cool before blending–for safety–and then reheat.

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It doesn’t look like much, but appearances are deceiving.

Serve with a few shavings of truffle, if you have any left.

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Heaven in a bowl.

We have a mushroom hater in the house who devoured this because the mushrooms were reduced to tiny bits (we didn’t mention them, either). If you aren’t a fan of mushrooms, I guess you can go without, but since they’re so tiny here, you don’t notice them–you just get the depth of flavor that they add.

29 thoughts on “Velvety White Bean Soup

  1. I could taste your soup as I was reading your post, and I’m still salivating!! I think some truffle oil would be quite a nice addition if made with shiitake mushrooms. I’ve got some white beans in the pantry, will have to give this a try!!

    Liked by 2 people

            1. So we did have some rain today, not much, and some thunder and lightning.

              The soup is finished and we had some for dinner. I thought it was a nice interesting (and vegetarian if you used veggie stock) alternative to pea’n’ham soup. I reckon I could easily have ‘hidden’ more veggies in it — more carrots, maybe some celeriac. I added garlic granules along with the salt and pepper. It makes lots which is great, so I’ve got plenty in the freezer too. I cooked up a whole kilo of beans and put half aside, so I forsee Tuscan style sage and garlic bean dip in my future.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds and looks delicious. Never thought to add mushrooms to beans. I’ll try it as I cook beans quite often, mostly pinto though. And I use the crockpot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do wish we had truffles. The soup sounds perfect. I guess a dribble of truffle oil will have to do. Are the white beans the same as cannelloni beans….I have those.
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found conflicting information about the beans. It seemed that cannellini and lingots are very similar, but then I found on cooksinfo.com that navy beans and white kidney beans are the equivalents. However, that article talks about the Lingots du Pays Ariégeois, when everybody here knows that lingots come from Lauragais, the region between Castelnaudary and Toulouse (Ariége is to the south, in the Pyrénnées foothills). I think you would do fine with cannellini.

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  4. Why did you soak the shitake mushrooms you used in this soup and what did you soak them in? Were they fresh or dried? Your soup sounds delicious and I would love to give it a try! Thank you for so generously sharing your recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

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