This rich, creamy vegan soup gets sophisticated sweet-tart balance with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. The syrup can be fond in Middle Eastern shops as well as many specialty food stores.
- Yield: Makes 6 appetizer servings
- Course: Appetizer
8 ounces dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
8 garlic cloves, smashed
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1. Drain the beans and place in a 5-quart Dutch oven with 6 cups water, smashed garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain the beans, reserving both the cooking liquid (about 2 cups) and the beans. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
2. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and chopped thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved beans and 2 cups cooking liquid and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20-22 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and cool 10 minutes. Transfer in batches to a blender and puree. Return soup to the Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Divide among serving bowls and drizzle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses.