Yet another freezer soup for poor, abandoned Walker… This one I found on Serious Eats, as I was finishing up my Chipotle Mac and Cheese. I had just bought a ton of garlic, and I try to always stock a big variety of beans in my “pantry” under the kitchen sink. This soup came together with so few ingredients, and ingredients that we always happen to have on hand. It seems to be a no brainer for entertaining in a pinch.

White Bean Bisque with Garlic Chips
Adapted from Serious Eats
serves 4 – 6

10 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Olive oil
3 shallot, sliced
1 sprig rosemary
2 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream, to taste
Healthy pinch of sea salt
1. In a small sauce pot, heat just enough oil to deep fry the garlic chips—about 1/4 cup depending on the size of the pot. Heat over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic chips in, and cook until crispy and golden—but not brown and burnt. It only takes a second, and if they burn they become bitter. If they’re not golden, they’re too spicy. Remove the chips to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to cool. Reserve the oil.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved garlic oil to a stock pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, and sauté gently until just soft—3 minutes.
3. While the shallots are softening, drain and rinse the beans, and add them to the pot along with the rosemary sprig (leave the leaves on the stem), two garlic cloves worth of the garlic chips, and the stock or water. Season with salt and pepper, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. When the soup boils, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. After 15 to 20 minutes, remove the rosemary sprig from the soup and discard. Turn off the heat, and working in batches, use a blender to bring the soup together. Stir in the cream—the residual heat of the soup will heat it through. Serve the garlic chips as a garnish on top.

Critic’s Comments

“What, you mean I have to actually put the garlic chips on it? Can’t I eat it plain?” I had prepared a bunch of garlic chips, and put them in a container right by the microwave for him. I guess he doesn’t have to add the garlic chips, but it really does taste great and adds an interesting layer of texture to an otherwise light soup. We’ll see what he says after he bothers eating it!

I thought it was great, because I love garlic but I don’t want to do a full blown garlic soup at the moment. This soup was different for us, because I normally prefer a thick hearty soup, and with my substitutions (she says like she actually had more than 2 cans of white beans in her pantry) it made for a thinner soup. It was definitely lighter than we’re used to, but I really enjoyed it. The flavors were very subtle and understated, and for this garlic loving girl, the white beans were the perfect humble vehicle for the spicy, rich, and buttery taste of the garlic.