Does the simple mention of this spontaneous course of events send you reeling with excitement into the adventure ahead or does it fill you with dread or maybe irritation that your well laid plans have been disrupted? Perhaps you are cool as a cucumber and so laid back that you simply go with the flow. I’m definitely not in the third camp….no sir! Unless that is I’m feeling inspired and striving to be a better person by working on my “issues” and attempting to be pleasing to those I’m with….rather than being a whiny stick-in-the-mud. I’m more of an obsessive planner. In fact, I’m that annoying person on vacation that has every second of the day accounted for and precisely outlined in a neatly composed, distributed-in-advance itinerary. It’s not complicated to understand, for better or worse I always want to be in control. For me, planning provides a sense of power….like I’m in command of my universe. Yeah, right.
One of my new gal pals just broke her leg on a skiing trip….talk about change of plans. Learning the news I immediately began playing out how utterly inconvenient this was about to become for her. Everything in her world and her family’s world would have to be altered, modified, shifted, you name it. Routines would become a mere ghost of their former selves. Uh! My stomach is turning right now just thinking about it. Worse yet….I was selfishly relieved that it wasn’t my plight. I know this is horrible and is one of those “issues” I must work if I am to become that better person. Seeing her for lunch I was amazed at her resilience and downright cheerful stance on the matter. My big spontaneous accomplishment that week had been deciding to switch out the Bacon Date Scones I was planning on bringing her with a Rosemary Parmesan Prosciutto version. Whoa…hold me back…I’m on fire!
I’m guessing that my well-organized self is probably the reason I love recipes. They are carefully curated plans that culminate into something beautiful that you set out to do. Of course it doesn’t always go as planned and cooking has gone a long way to teach me flexibility and patience. I’ve also learned that a change in plan can often result in something even better than originally expected.
I’ve barely modified this soup from the original recipe, but the enhancements are what make it so satisfying to me. More herbs, extra garlic, special beans. Its puréed, but you hold back some of the soup to add in later for texture, along with some crumbled spicy chorizo sausage (which I’m sure I don’t eat enough of!). I’ve enjoyed this soup many times over and yet it never tasted as good as it did with the addition of my new favorite savory scones. They go together like tomato soup and grilled cheese…it’s that perfect.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.
This is truly one of the most flavorful soups I've ever tasted...you'll find yourself making it over and over until you've shared it with just about everyone you know.
- 1 lb dried cannellini beans (I used white emergo beans from Zursun Idaho Heirloom Beans)
- 8 cups water
- 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large)
- 1 cup chopped carrots, peeled (about 3-5)
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
- 1 quart homemade chicken broth
- 1 lb fresh chorizo sausage (links, casings removed)
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- Pick through the dried beans and remove any little rocks or debris that may have gotten mixed in, then give them a vigorous rinse in a colander to remove dust and dirt. Place beans in a small stock pot and cover with water by 3 inches. Soak overnight (minimum 12 hours).
- Drain and rinse the beans then return them the stockpot with 8 cups of water, 1 TBSP olive oil, smashed garlic, rosemary and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add 1 TBSP salt and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes until the beans are just tender. At this point they will be so flavorful that you will want to gobble them with some olive oil and freshly grated parmesan…but, please, try to resist for the sake of your soup.
- Drain the beans, but be sure to reserve the cooking liquid. You are going to add it to the soup later. It’s the secret ingredient!
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot (I used a 9 quart Dutch oven) over medium heat. Then add the onion, carrots and celery and sprinkle with 1 tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- Sauté for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. The garlic and thyme will bloom and scent your kitchen.
- Pour in 2 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid, as well as the chicken stock and cooked beans.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, sauté the sausage in large skillet (I used a 12” Le Creuset) over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until no pink remains. Be sure to break the sausage up so you end up with crumbles. Transfer it to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Transfer the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly (5-10 minutes).
- Remove 1 ½ cups of the soup from the pot and set aside. Then use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it is creamy and no chunks remain. Return the reserved soup to the pot, along with the chorizo sausage and cream.
- Gently reheat and serve with Rosemary Parmesan Prosciutto Scones.
Adapted from Bon Appétit and Coastal Living. When these come out of the oven, the smell alone is almost as good as eating one. Almost…..
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 6 oz prosciutto di parma, thinly sliced and pulsed into a crumble in the food processor
- 1 generous TBSP of freshly chopped rosemary
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 stick unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- Egg wash (1 TBSP milk lightly beaten with 1 egg)
- Fleur de Sel
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir in the chopped rosemary, grated cheese and crumbled prosciutto. Mix with your hands to break up any clumps.
- Using a pastry cutter, quickly incorporate the chilled butter into the flour mixture. Blend until the butter is the size of peas and the dough resembles a coarse meal.
- Pour in the buttermilk and stir until large clumps develop; then use your hands to knead a few times and shape into a ball.
- On a floured surface, pat the dough into an 8” round and cut into 8 wedges. Sometimes I make smaller scones; just divide the dough in half and make 16 smaller wedges instead of 8 large ones.
- Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and chill for 2 hours. This ensures light, flaky scones.
- Before placing in the oven, brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the scones comes out clean. Visually the scones should be golden brown.