White Bean Soup with Toasty Cheese Bread

Steeping chicken broth with sprigs of rosemary and thyme for a few minutes adds great flavor to this creamy soup.  The sandwich is toasted under the broiler and served open-faced (with or without tomatoes).

This delicious meal can be made in as little as five or six minutes.

 

2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (reg or low sodium)
Two 15-ounce cans of any white bean, rinsed

1 small shallot
1 small garlic clove
1 T olive oil
1 T unsalted butter

Kosher salt and fresh pepper (white or black)

4 slices crusty bread (sliced about 1-inch thick)
3/4 cup shredded skim or reg mozzarella cheese
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler heat source, and preheat. Bring the rosemary, thyme and 2 cups of the chicken broth to a quick boil in a covered medium saucepan over high heat and then immediately reduce to a low simmer.

Puree the beans, shallots, garlic, oil, butter, remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper and 1/2 cup of the simmering broth in a blender until completely smooth and emulsified, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, lay the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and top evenly with the mozzarella. Broil until the tops are browned and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from the oven. If you like tomatoes, spread them among the toasts and top with the Parmesan.

Remove the herb sprigs from the simmering broth; set aside. Whisk the bean puree into the broth, and return it to a gentle boil. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the reserved herb sprigs and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve with the warm, cheesy toasts.

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