When it gets colder out I love to have hot soup for dinner. This recipe is taken from Volume II of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (pp 22 – 24). I altered the recipe slightly as follows:
1 cup white beans (I used haricots tarbais)
2 cups sliced leeks
1 sliced shallot
3 T duck fat (or other animal fat or butter)
2 bay leaves
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried sage
1 lb pork ribs
1-1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper corns
1 package merguez sausages
1-1/2 t salt
2 – 3 T animal fat (I used left over bacon fat) or butter
1 lb tomatoes peeled, seeded and juiced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1. Soak the beans at room temperature in cold water for at least 12 hours.
2. Drain and rinse the beans after soaking and bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the beans to the water and return to the boil. Boil 2 minutes then remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour.
3. While the beans are soaking for the hour slice the leeks and shallot and cook them slowly in the fat or butter until they are tender and translucent. Raise the heat a bit and cook until lightly browned.
4. When the beans are done soaking their hour, drain the water they are in and rinse the beans again. Put the beans, leeks, pork ribs, salt, pepper corns, thyme and sage into the pot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Simmer 1 hour.
5. Add the sausages and simmer an additional 40 minutes until the beans and pork are tender.
6. While the soup is cooking prepare the garnish. Chop the eggplant into 1/2″ dice and salt. Let stand in a colander over the sink at least 20 minutes.
7. Dip the tomatoes into boiling water for 10 seconds then peel them. Remove the core and slice in half. Remove the seeds and juice into a small bowl; strain this pulp and discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes.
8. After the eggplant has stood with the salt pat it dry with paper towels.
9. Saute the eggplant in 2 – 3 T fat or butter until lightly browned.
10. Add the chopped tomato, tomato juice and garlic to the eggplant and cover. Simmer slowly until tender–about 15 minutes.
11. To finish the soup, remove the bay leaves, pork and sausage from the soup and puree the beans and leeks with a hand held blender. Slice the pork and sausages and return to the soup.
To make this autoimmune friendly skip the garnish or take Julia Child’s advice and prepare a fennel, shallot and garlic garnish as above. She recommends adding tomato to this combination, but I think it could be skipped in the name of avoiding nightshade vegetables.