After seeing these beautiful cranberry beans over and over again in my food magazines for the last few years and never being able to get them fresh at the grocery store, I was delighted to finally find them at the farmers market last week. Although the weather doesn’t really call for soup, I had some celery and carrots that needed to be used and thought it would make for a nice pairing with some artichokes I had also picked up. This summer version was made with all my fresh garden herbs and tomatoes, if made in the winter, I would have substituted canned tomatoes and dried herbs.
Cranberry Bean Soup with Stuffed Artichokes
www.lessonsinfood.wordpress.com original recipe
Finely dice mirepoix (3-4 carrots, 1 stalk celery and 1 large onion) and mince 2 cloves of garlic.
In a separate pot, simmer trimmed and prepared ( choke removed) artichokes, about 7-10 minutes and set aside to cool.
Add mirepoix to pancetta and sweat vegetables until softened. Add 2 boxes of free-range organic chicken stock. Set aside 1 cup of broth vegetable mixture for the artichokes. Add cranberry beans,1 chopped heirloom tomato, rosemary, thyme and basil sprigs. Cover and simmer 40 minutes.
Pour reserved broth mixture into baking dish. Remove stems from artichokes and stuff with a mixture of fresh breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Place stuffed artichokes into pan with stems and cover tightly with tinfoil. Bake for 20-30 minutes and then remove tinfoil and continue baking additional 10-15 minutes. Test one of the center leaves to make sure the artichoke is fully cooked.
Remove rosemary and thyme springs from soup. About 10 minutes before serving, add small pasta, such as mini penne directly into soup. It will cook in the broth and reduce the liquid. Top with grated parmesan and fresh basil.
Serve with a green salad and those delicious cherry clafoutis you made from yesterday’s post!