Cannellini beans are what takes this garlic soup from being a pleasant starter to a satisfying and nutritious main dish. To round out your meal add some crusty bread or toast for dipping and a nice green salad.
Serves 4 as a main dish; 6 as a side.
- 3 heads of garlic
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cans cannellini beans(or 3 cups cooked)
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. salt(optional)
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup whipping cream
- Parmesan rinds(if you have them around)
Turn the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top 1/2 inch off of two of the bulbs of garlic so that the tops of the cloves are exposed, drizzle each head with olive oil and wrap them individually in foil. Bake them for 45 to 60 minutes or until the cloves are soft and light brown, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool off.
In a medium stockpot start heating the vegetable stock with the pepper, salt (depending on how salty your stock is) and parmesan rinds. Peel the remaining head of garlic and add all the cloves to the stock. Rinse and drain the beans and add them to the pot, simmer until the garlic cloves are tender. You may need to add additional stock or water at this point depending on how much the beans absorb.
Fish the parmesan rinds out of the soup and discard them. Squish all of the cloves of roasted garlic out of their heads and add them to the soup along with the parmesan and whipping cream.
Puree the soup either in batches with a blender or in the pan with an immersion blender. At this point you can run it through a sieve to remove any remaining bits of bean if you have picky eaters. Otherwise dish it up and top each serving with some additional parmesan.