Heavens, do I still have THIS?
One of my preoccupations at this time of year is using up the small quantities of grains and beans in the house to start fresh with Passover. Usually, I would not even bother to record the recipes, because it is so unlikely I would ever reproduce them, but this soup turned out unusually well, and I mean unusually well in the company of some very distinguished soups; you will forgive me for saying so.
I think it was really the tomatoes, herbs and garlic that made this soup wonderful, and you can probably achieve the same without assembling all the ingredients I list below—not that it would hurt—I do love that hominy.
Oh, one other thing—I usually let this kind of soup simmer for an hour or more, but I was in a hurry and served this soup less than half an hour after adding the tomatoes, and I think it was better that way.
White Bean and Tomato soup with Oregano and Bay Leaves
1 large onion, sliced
7 cloves garlic, sliced
3 bay leaves
2 dried chile pepper pods
2 fat pinches oregano, crumbled
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
Stems from one bunch of chard, sliced (optional—I just happened to have some)
1 large orange sweet potato, large dice (optional—ditto)
3 cups cooked white beans and their broth (I had cooked the beans with bay leaves, black peppercorns, and garlic cloves, but any cooked beans should be fine)
1 24-ounce can tomatoes (I used Muir Glen diced tomatoes)
1 cup cooked hominy (It is entirely OK to leave this out if you don’t happen to have buckets of cooked hominy around the house. Hominy hominy hominy!)
Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy soup kettle and add the onions. When the onions begin to relax a bit add the garlic, bay leaves, chile peppers, red peppers, and chard stems, and continue to cook, stirring for another several minutes so that the garlic and herbs yield up their fragrance. Add tomatoes and sweet potato and water to cover generously. Salt and cook for another thirty minutes. Taste for seasonings.
For you Sweetnicks, one last winter soup, with wishes for a healthy spring.