Neapolitan Bean Bisque
A boldly flavored soup boasting such authentic Mediterranean ingredients as olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, white beans, roasted red peppers, balsamic vinegar, basil pesto and Parmesan cheese.
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
6 large garlic cloves, cut in half
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 cans (15-oz.) Great Northern or Navy beans or 3 cups cooked dry Great Northern or Navy beans, rinsed, drained
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. ground pepper
1⁄2 cup frozen spinach
3-4 tbsp. basil pesto
1⁄2 cup roasted red bell pepper strips
Parmesan cheese curls, for garnish
1. Sauté onion and garlic in oil in large saucepan until tender, about 5 min.; stir in herbs and cook 1-2 min. Stir in beans, broth, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 min.
2. Puree half the soup (about 21⁄2 cups) in blender with spinach and pesto until smooth; place in small saucepan. Puree remaining soup in blender with roasted pepper until smooth; return to saucepan.
3. Heat both soups over medium heat until hot. Ladle both soups into a bowl simultaneously; swirl lightly with knife. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.