This is a great soup for these cold winter days. It can easily be transformed into a vegetarian dish by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock. If you'd like it more hearty, of course, you can add shrimp, ham, sausage or even chicken. The use of canned beans means you can quickly have this soup ready for dinner. This is not a "cook all day" soup. BUT if you want that time in the kitchen, you can just as easily cook dried beans in the stock and go from there.
2 (20 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs for garnishing
4-6 cups chicken stock
½ t. Cajun or Creole Seasoning
Heat the olive oil in a 5 – 6 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is golden and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir and let cook for a minute or so.
Add the beans, stir those into the vegetables and then pour in the chicken stock. Bring the soup to a boil and season with Cajun Seasoning. You may want a little more or less depending on your brand and your heat level preference.
Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and let the soup cook for 20 – 30 minutes. Purée a cup or so of the beans with an immersion blender or mash with a potato masher and add back into the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer and then taste and adjust the seasonings.
Ladle into soup bowls or cups and garnish with additional seasoning or finely chopped rosemary. You can also add small cooked shrimp or diced ham or sausage.