Friday, September 23, 2011

Emeril's Blogger Party: Tuscan White Bean Soup

While participating in Emeril's blogger party by joining 20 other bloggers from around the world in cooking recipes from Emeril's new book "Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonder," I made a commitment to myself to step out of my comfort zone with a few of the recipes.  While I've made plenty of recipes where I've had to soak beans over night (red beans and rice, for example), I had never experimented with Tuscan style white bean dish that was also (outside the chicken stock I guess) vegetarian.  That's a whole realm of cuisine that is truly outside my comfort zone, so I thought I'd give it a try.

My white beans plumped up after soaking them over night
After a trip to Calandro's and another stop at Southside Produce, I still was unable to find any broccoli rabe which the recipe calls for.  Broccoli rabe is actually a green, not broccoli at all, but since I couldn't find it, I made an executive decision to just try regular old broccoli instead.  I wasn't impressed.  I should have done a little research to find something more similar, but oh well!  For the beans I used half baby lima beans and half cannellini beans.  That combination worked a little more to my favor.

Ingredients for my Tuscan White Bean Soup other than the beans!
All of the fresh and wonderful vegetable and herb flavors were there in the soup but I couldn't help but think there was something missing.  It needed some bacon fat or a ham hock or something to the next level.  This is the first of Emeril's recipes that I've cooked that I haven't been completely inspired by.  I know it may have had a lot to do with not being able to find the broccoli rabe, but I still just was not impressed by the soup.  That's okay though.  I still have a book to give away and more recipes to cook!

Finished Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli
 Now, about that extra book copy that I have!


For participating in the blogger party I received a free copy of the book and also a copy to give away to a loyal Bite and Booze reader.  To win?  Make sure you follow Bite and Booze on Twitter or like my page on Facebook and leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you think about Emeril.  I'll take entries until September 27th and then I'll inform the winner about their new book that will be arriving!