Provencal-Style Beef and Bean Soup
This is a hearty, chunky soup that’s perfect for using leftover cooked beef or steak. Sun dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary and basil give this soup a South of France flavor. It freezes beautifully, too. It’s also great served with Crostini.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 Quarts Soup; Serves 6 to 8
1 1/2 cups dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 head garlic, roasted and peeled
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 plums tomatoes, cored and chopped
8 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into very tin strips (chiffonade)
1. Quick-cook the beans; Place the beans in a large pot with water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, rinse, and set aside.
2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and cook and stir 15 minutes or until light brown. Add the celery and cook and stir 10 minutes longer.
3. Add the garlic and the beef and cook and stir until the beef is brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and beans and simmer 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, uncovered, until the beans are soft and the beef is fork-tender.
4. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves. Add the fresh basil and serve immediately.
Note: Cooked, leftover roast beef can be used instead of the chuck roast; add it during the final 30 to 40 minutes of cooking