Creamy Cannellini Bean-Amaranth Soup with Basil
This is a wonderful blend of some of my favorites. Amaranth is an old Aztec grain. Like Quinoa, it is rich in nutrients and high in proteins. A little crunchier than Quinoa, it is so flavorful! If you cannot locate amaranth, you can substitute quinoa in its stead, but most grocery chains carry it.
What you will need:
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup amaranth or quinoa
2 cups (low sodium, Trader Joe’s) vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup tomato puree
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or white beans, drained, divided
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. sea salt (if needed)
Freshly cracked black pepper
What to do:
Cut the ends from the leeks and slice them in half vertically, then rinse thoroughly to remove all grit. Slice the leeks and sauté in the olive oil over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. When the leeks are golden and soft, add the garlic and sauté for one minute longer.
Add the amaranth, stock, bay leaf, and tomato puree, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
In a food processor, puree half of the beans until smooth. When the amaranth mixture is done, remove the bay leaf, and then carefully pour the mixture into the processor and puree. Cover the top of the feed tube with a folded towel as you process, to keep hot liquid contained. Pour the puree back into the saucepan.
Stir the remaining beans and chopped herbs into the hot soup and warm gently on the stove for 5 minutes or so. If desired, then with water or more stock. Add water or stock to desired consistency? Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Recipe from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell