White Bean Chowder

Is this it?, I asked, bewilderedly looking out the car window at what could have been any dive in any sketchy area of any town.  Mike assured me that this was in fact the place.  I was pretty excited though, not only because he had promised me several times that no matter what it looks like from the outside, I really would love this restaurant, but also because in my experience, restaurants that look shady on the outside often have the best food.  

I like to think of them as best-kept secrets. 

Mike was right – I had one of the best meals that night that I’d had in a while.  The sea bass (always one of my favorites) was cooked to perfection and I even enjoyed the cannoli (which I’m not usually a big fan of).  But the highlight of my meal was definitely the soup I had to start.  Here’s my version. 

White Bean Chowder 

Serves 3 to 4 

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 slices turkey bacon, minced

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 medium stalk celery, finely diced

1 medium carrot, finely diced

1/4 of a medium-large red bell pepper, finely diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock

1 small tomato, finely diced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 (15-16 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves 

Heat the oil in a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat; add the turkey bacon and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, and bell pepper and cook until starting to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium, stir in the garlic and thyme and cook 2 minutes, then stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes more. 

Add the stock, tomato, tomato paste, bay leaf, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans and bring to a boil; turn heat down and simmer 15 minutes (uncovered).  (Mash a few of the beans against the side of the pot if you want a thicker soup.) 

Turn the heat off and stir in the cream and parsley.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired; serve.

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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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