Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

Source: Food Network, recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 sage leaf
2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices crusty bread, cut into chunks
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, another 10-15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. It will be hot so be careful.

Once all the soup is blended add the cream. Salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

Arrange the bread on a sheet pan in one layer. Drizzle the slices of bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Broil the bread until warm and golden, keeping an eye so they don't burn. Stir to toast all sides. Serve the soup in bowls with the croutons.