Friday, October 14, 2011

Tuscan White Bean and Broccoli Stew & Clif Bar Review

I love soup/stew/chili. I know a lot of people need it to be cold to enjoy these dishes, but I can enjoy them year round! Good thing, because its still 80 degrees in Charleston (and this chick is NOT complaining!).

Recently, I received a copy of Emeril Lagasse’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders (disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher). According to the publisher:

“In chef Emeril Lagasse’s tribute to one-pot wonders, he shows there’s nothing more satisfying than a hearty meal prepared in your most cherished pot or pan. Whether baked in a cast-iron skillet, braised in a Dutch oven, seared in a hot wok, or simmered in a slow-cooker, Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders serves up delicious meals to fit any pan or palate.”


I fell in love with Emeril’s recipes when I reviewed his Farm to Fork cookbook. I have always been a fan of one pot meals (less clean up- yes, please!). Now that I have a baby, I love them even more. I book marked at least 10 recipes in the book during my first glance through. The one that intrigued me most was his Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe:


What I liked most about this recipe is that Emeril used lima beans when he made it (although you can use any dried white bean).

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe


I used broccoli instead of broccoli rabe and eliminated the fresh red pepper (as Josh isn’t a fan).I also halved the recipe, but apparently you can’t halve the liquid or you end up with a stew…..or clump:


but let me tell you, it was one delicious clump!


Both Josh and I were huge fans! I can’t wait to try more recipes from the book! Here is the original recipe:

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe

This is a comforting, hearty soup with flavors reminiscent of northern Italy. We used baby lima beans because we just love their tender, creamy consistency, although in Italy it would likely be made with cannellini beans or great Northern beans. Use whichever beans you love or have on hand; just take note that the cooking time will vary slightly.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups small-diced onion
  • 1 cup small-diced celery
  • 1 cup small-diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds dried white beans (cannellini, baby lima, or great Northern), rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, about 1 × 3 inches
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. Heat the olive oil in an 8-quart soup pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, dried Italian herbs, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the stock, beans, Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and water and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to simmer gently and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 to 60 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 1 cup of the beans from the pot to a small bowl and mash them with the back of a spoon. Return the mashed beans to the soup and add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the broth thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining black pepper, the broccoli rabe, and rosemary sprig and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and rosemary sprig and discard them. Serve the soup in wide, shallow bowls, garnished with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

13 cups, about 6 servings

We also sampled the seasonal clif bars, including the newest seasonal flavor, Peppermint Stick (disclaimer: we received these products to sample for free as well….).


CLIF BAR Peppermint Stick

CLIF BAR 2011 Seasonals - All 3 Flavors

While I LOVE the iced gingerbread and spiced pumpkin pie flavors (the gingerbread is my favorite!), I wasn’t a huge fan of the peppermint stick. I feel like it needs some chocolate to go with it to make it all work. But…I’ll take an iced gingerbread any day!


What is your favorite fall/winter flavor?

No comments: