White bean soup with spelt

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Dried white beans * picked over, rinsed well
½ cup Spelt, Kamut or wheat berries
\N \N Boiling water
2 quarts Vegetable stock
1 \N Bay leaf
4 \N Garlic cloves 1 thinly sliced 3 minced
3 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
½ teaspoon Thyme
1 large Onion; finely diced
2 mediums Carrots; finely diced
1 medium Celery rib; finely diced, plus
2 tablespoons Pale celery leaves, chopped
\N \N Salt and pepper
1 pounds Savoy or green cabbage finely shredded
2 tablespoons Parsley or celery leaves finely chopped
\N \N Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

* navy beans, cannellini, snowcaps, etc.

1. In a large bowl, cover the white beans with water and let soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Or, in a large saucepan, cover the beans with water and boil over moderately high heat for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat, cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain off the soaking liquid and rinse the beans well.

2. In a medium bowl, cover the spelt with boiling water and let soak for 1 hour. Drain.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the vegetable stock and spelt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the white beans, bay leaf, sliced garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and ¬ teaspoon of the thyme. Simmer, covered, for 35 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the onion, carrots, celery, celery leaves, minced garlic and the remaining ¬ teaspoon of thyme and cook over moderate heat until the onion is completely soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and add to the spelt and beans. Simmer, uncovered, until the beans are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. discard the bay leaf. The soup can be made to this point up to 1 day in advance; cover and refrigerate.

5. Just before serving, steam the cabbage in a steamer basket over simmering water until tender and bright green, about 5 to 8 minutes.

6. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Mound the cabbage in the middle, drizzle lightly with oil and dust with pepper.

Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

Food and Wine January 1995

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 02-01-95

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