WHITE BEAN AND POTATO SOUP WITH GARLIC BROWN-BUTTER BRUSSELS SPROUTS

serves 4-6


for the soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon fat)

3 stalks celery, diced

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 head fennel (tough outer layer peeled off), cored and diced

kosher salt

3 anchovies

3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine

10 medium-sized potatoes (my favorite are Yukon gold or butterball), peeled and cut into about 2" by 2" pieces

6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

2 cups or more white beans (navy, cannellini, or butter; previously cooked or from a jar or can)

kosher salt/pepper to taste

lemon juice

white or sherry wine vinegar


for the Brussels sprouts:

24 Brussels sprouts

kosher salt

pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 cloves garlic confit

1/4 cup chopped parsley

kosher salt/pepper to taste


optional toppings:

chopped parsley

olive oil

coarse salt

thick balsamic vinegar

parmesan cheese

pine nuts

croutons


directions:

Place large soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add celery, onion, fennel, and big pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened (about 10 minutes). Add anchovies and garlic, stir for a minute on medium heat until anchovies are dissolved (use back of wooden spoon to help them disintegrate). Add wine. Stir and cook down until liquid evaporates (about a minute). Add potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Add white beans and simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove and puree half of the soup (or use an immersion blender). Add puree back to chunky soup. Taste and adjust. Season with salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice/vinegar. If it's too thick, add more chicken stock. Cover and keep warm while you make Brussels sprouts.


Preheat oven to 375°F. Trim stems off of Brussels sprouts and remove any brown outer leaves. Grate off half of each Brussels sprout. Set grated slaw aside. Don't worry if the intact halves look scrappy and funky. Salt and pepper exposed grated sides. Heat butter in a cast iron pan on high heat until it just starts to brown. Place Brussels sprouts grated-edges down into the brown butter. Keep an eye on them. When they're nicely browned (a minute or so), add olive oil, toss them about, and then throw the pan into the oven. Cook until just tender (about 20-25 minutes). Remove from the oven and toss in grated Brussels sprouts slaw, lemon zest, garlic confit, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mush up the garlic confit so that it spreads throughout the slaw. Throw back in the oven for two minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and taste. Season as needed.


Serve soup piping hot. Garnish with cooked Brussels sprouts/slaw and any of the optional toppings above. The soup freezes beautifully.

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