White bean Soup with leeks, potatoes and green olives

A fresh gluten-free soup with a gourmet garnish.

Yogurt-roasted eggplant soup 311 (photo credit: Barry A. Kaplan)
Yogurt-roasted eggplant soup 311
(photo credit: Barry A. Kaplan)
Serves 6 as a first course
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks (about 8 ounces), trimmed and rinsed well, chopped roughly
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
6 cups best-quality vegetable stock (or filtered water plus 1 bouillon cube)
2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 can (3 ounces) pitted green olives, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Chopped rosemary
1. For the soup, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and rosemary sprig and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Lower the flame to simmer and add the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the liquid has reduced and the potatoes are very soft, about 30 minutes.

3. Allow to cool slightly, remove the rosemary and Parmesan rind, and then blend the soup in batches until very smooth, adding extra broth if necessary. Transfer the soup to a pot and keep warm while you prepare the Garnish.

4. Rinse out the blender and add the olives. With the blender running, pour in the oil to form a coarse purée.

5. To serve the soup, ladle it into bowls and dot with a little green olive purée and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary.