White Bean Soup With Spinach And Couscous
by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat
Bean soups can be like exercise bikes. They're healthy, convenient and make you feel virtuous. But sometimes you want to feel like you're going places, having new experiences. This exotic spin on a Tuscan tradition relies on leeks, the mild cousin of the onion, for their subtle flavor, creamy beans for their rich texture, and couscous, with a nutty taste that makes every trip to the bowl delightful and surprising.
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 2 leeks, rinsed well, white portions chopped and green discarded
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 8 cups chicken broth
• 3 cups canned white kidney [cannellini] beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 dried bay leaves
• 1/2 cup whole-wheat couscous
• 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed tight
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and garlic, sauteing 2 minutes or until tender.
2) Stir in cumin. Add broth, white beans and bay leaves. Over high heat, bring to a boil.
3) Add couscous, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
4) Remove bay leaves and discard. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.