. Seriously Soupy: March 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 The Return of Seriously with a Chicken Tortilla Soup

Seriously Soupy has been seriously absent these past few days (if you hadn't noticed). And I am not happy about it. The past week involved regular toddler madness/fun-times, new employment opportunities (yippee!), trying to figure out childcare, finish up some freelance projects, and of course life in general that made it very difficult to devote the time and attention needed to making soup. This also had me realize that as a one-person operation I still want to focus on the site, but that I would have to go back to my original intention, which was to "create a new soup every week and write about it," as opposed to providing daily content. Although I still want to do that and think soup deserves to be talked about daily, I'm just not able to do that right now. But, of course this can (and hopefully) will change very soon with the addition of more soupy contributors (like you!) who will share their favorite recipes or new ideas to the site. After all, I do want to make this site more of a soupy community, and not just me sprouting off my own ideas of bean and vegetable soups all the time! If you are interested in contributing to the site, please email me directly at seriouslysoupy@gmail.com.

Anyway, so for this week I was trying to figure out a simple, yet hearty meal-in-a-soup concept by sticking to using items I had in my home. I decided on making a chicken tortilla soup—a pretty common little soupy, but one that I had never made before. I ended up having to buy many of the ingredients, but it was worth it! This soup was both spicy and a little tangy, and of course pretty darn good. Let me know what you think!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
32oz of Pacific Organic Chicken Broth
2-4 cups of water (start with two and add more, if needed)
28oz can of Plum Tomotoes
3 organic chicken breasts
1/2 of a red onion, chopped up
1 tablespoon of pre-minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 scallion, cut up
1 jalapeno pepper, cut up (can be omitted)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Medley of various peppers (red, orange, and yellow)
1 can of corn or 2 ears of corn
2 cups of kidney beans (or bean of your choice)
Splash of lime juice (use your discretion)
1/2 of an avocado for garnish
couple of tortilla chips for garnish
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a soup pot or large pan, drizzle about one-two tablespoons of olive oil. Chop up the onion, scallion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers, adding them to the pot. Let cook on a low heat and cut up the chicken into small squares, add to the pot and let cook. Add the tomatoes. I used plum (what I had), but it might be easier to use a pureed can of sauce since I had to cut up the tomatoes. Or, you can be really adventurous and use whole tomatoes. Chop up the rosemary and various colorful peppers, pour in the water, chicken broth and lime juice, and let cook on a low-to-medium flame, stirring and checking on the soup periodically. While this was cooking, I decided that the soup would also have beans, so I started a second pot of water, let it boil and added the dry kidney beans. When the beans were finished (about two hours later), I added the corn to the soup and added some seasonings as I tasted (cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper). I also added about 2 more cups of water (it was pretty spicy-never deny the strength of a jalapeno!), grabbed some chips, and cut up some avocado for a garnish and it was go to good!

How have you made Chicken Tortilla Soup?

Seriously Soupy Serena

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day—The Soups

 Shamrocks on St. Patty's Day—Image from Sarah Nod Grass

I have been very incognito these past few days and not because I wanted to be away but I was very busy working on a play! In my other non-soupy life I write plays (and other content) and was given the unique opportunity to be a part of F.A.C.T's INSTANT THEATRE event. Essentially, this involved six playwrights, six directors, and 18 actors. where the playwrights wrote a 10-minute play overnight, presented it to the actors and directors the next day. They then had to memorize it and stage it overnight for performances the following two evenings. So, you can imagine how busy that was and it is only now (Wednesday) that I have been able to get in the groove of my routine and attend to my beloved soup blog. Since it is also St. Patty's Day I thought it would be fitting to feature some soups that can be enjoyed on this day. Let me know if you have others to suggest and I'll be up with some new soups VERY SOON!
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup- Taken from Woman's Day magazine, this soup uses deli-sliced corned beef, potatoes, onions, apple juice, and of course green cabbage to create an ode to a traditional Irish dish in no time.
  • Colcannon Soup with Potatoes, Leeks and Cabbage- Personally, I never heard heard of colcannon, but this dish according to ,  is a "traditional Irish dish made of mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, onions, milk or cream and butte." Sounds pretty amazing and one that is also an healthier verison to the traditional dish with half of the carbs and less calories.
  • Healthy Green Soup- For something a little lighter, but still focuses on the signature color of today (GREEN), you should test out Gina's soup. The recipe contains celery, green chard, spinach, and even some white beans and potatoes-pretty hearty and healthy if you ask me. Great side for today, or really anytime when health is your game.
Happy St. Patrick's Day

Seriously Soupy Serena

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Soup's Up: To Your Health

 A seriously healthy soup-Sweet Potato and Cranberry

 A hearty dose of chickpeas in Seriously Soupy's Hummus Soup

For the most part soup has always been considered a healthy food item — loaded with vegetables and beans, lean meats, and water (or broth) that make it a filing and hearty dish. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule with some cream-based soups, but those to have a place, but maybe more so in moderation. For the most part I too try to make healthy soups, and recently found some interesting articles and new recipes pertaining to just how good soup is for you. So, read up, fill up that ladle, enjoy, and go back for more!
  • Soup for Health- A pretty frank and to the point article, stating that our waistlines have essentially gotten too wide. But, low and behold as Dr. Jonn Matsen states the simplest of answers can be found in eating a good dose of soup with vegetables. Apparently, veggies that are cooked in water release bioflavonoids and protect the body against harmful free radicals.  So, the more colorful your soup is, the wider range of antioxidant properties you will receive. Perhaps it's time to try out a new soup idea —25 veggie soup, anyone?
  • Soup Up Your Health- Oh, boy are we busy and getting busier as they years go on. So, busy in fact that many of us have foregone traditional ways of cooking in lieu of anything that is quick and easy aka fast food and microwavable dinners. The article by D Laurent states that there is a quick and easy solution to this, and you guessed it — it's soup! The piece goes on to discuss the wonders of stock, healing soups that aid digestion such as tomato and chicken and a general overview of the nutritional properties in soup. Who knew that onions have something called quercetin that is believed to have anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. I'll eat to that!
  • Miso Soup: A Delicious Bowl Full of Health and Anti-Aging Benefits- I never doubted that miso was a healthy soup as it is essentially water and soybeans, but after reading this article by Barbara L. Minton I was shocked at just how healthy it really is. As a fermented food, it provides the body with good bacteria to aid with digestion, strengthen the immune system, enhance the absorption of nutrients, protect against certain cancers, as well as protect the body from aging. The article also includes a traditional miso recipe and various studies of this versatile wonder soup.
The Recipes

This is but no means a complete list of healthy soups, just a few recipes that recently caught my eye. Please feel free to include your own recipes in the comments.
 Seriously Soupy Serena

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Annual Souperama: The Winning Recipes

The Judges: Cathy Erway, Jake Schiffman, Gabrielle Langholz, Sherri Brooks Vinton (left to right) 
The Winning Recipes
  • First Place: Sam Mason-Green Chile Chicken Corn Chowder (Recipe to be posted on Friday)
 Sam Mason dishing out his award-winning green chile chicken corn chowder
  • Second Place: Karol Lu-Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup w/ Fresh Apple Salsa and Parsnip Crumbs
 Noah Berland, Karol Lu (Second Place Winner) and Barbara Luciano (left to right)
    For more information about Karol, check out the CSA that she runs and her pool website.

    Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup w/ Fresh Apple Salsa and Parsnip Crumbs

    For the Soup:
    3 parsnips, peeled and diced
    2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    4 tbsp butter (or extra-virgin olive oil)
    1 large onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 apple, shredded
    4-6 cups vegetable stock
    1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped + 1 tbsp sauce reserved
    2 tsp cumin
    Pinch of cinnamon
    1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
    Salt and pepper to taste

    For the Apple Salsa:

    1 apple, finely chopped
    1 small red onion, finely chopped
    1/2 bunch of cilantro, stemmed and chopped
    Lime juice
    Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

    For the Parsnip Crumbs:
    1 parsnip, finely diced
    Oil for frying
    Salt and smoked hot paprika to taste

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss parsnips and sweet potatoes in extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in oven for approximately 45 minutes until soft.  Set aside.

    Melt butter in a soup pot and saute garlic and onions until soft.  Add apple, roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes, chipotle chili and sauce, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Stir in 4 cups vegetable stock and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Blend soup with a hand blender until very smooth, adding more stock if needed.  Add heavy cream, if using, and adjust seasonings to taste. 

    To make the salsa, mix apple, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl.  Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

    For the parsnip crumbs, heat a heavy bottomed pot with an inch of oil until shimmery and almost smoking.  In batches, fry the finely diced parsnips until lightly brown, about 3-5 minutes, and sift out onto a paper towel.  Season with salt and hot smoked paprika to taste.

    Serve the soup in a bowl, topped with salsa and a sprinkling of parsnip crumbs.

    • Third Place: (tie) Catherine Harvey- Goat and Dumpling Soup
    Catherine Harvey serving her tasty goat soup
    Goat and Dumpling Soup

    5 lbs of goat meat (1-2 inch cubed)
    4 quarts of rich chicken stock
    1 quart of goat or lamb stock
    2 large cans of plum tomatoes (in liquid, not thick sauce)
    10 sprigs of fresh thyme
    10 dried bay leaves
    Canola oil

    Dumplings (make while soup is simmering):
    2 cups of all-purpose flour
    5 large eggs
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    15 grinds of pepper

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Combine dumpling ingredients together and drop small-sized bits of the dumpling batter into water. When they come to the surface and float, pull them out with a slotted spoon and set aside (you will add them to the soup later – so you may want to refrigerated them).

    Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat (for about 10 minutes). While the pan is heating, sprinkle goat liberally with kosher salt and fresh grinds of pepper. When the pan is done heating, add 4 tablespoons of canola oil and heat oil until shimmering and rippling. Working in batches, brown goat pieces on all sides and place in a large caldron or stock pot. Add all stock, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and tomatoes with their liquid (break up tomatoes a bit as you add to pot). Bring to a gentle simmer and cover until meat is nearly falling off bones (about 2 hours). Pull bones away from meat and discard bones. Pull out thyme stems and bay leaves. Skim any fat that accumulated on top of liquid. Add dumplings to heat through and serve.
    • Third Place: (tie) Ted Smith-Deconstructed Fish Soup (Recipe to Post on Friday)

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    First Annual Souperama: The Participants

     The Souperama held at Jimmy's No. 43 in NYC

    As I have been mentioning, myself and 15 other soupy lovers recently participated in the First Annual Souperama held at Jimmy's No. 43 in NYC. A great concept that brought chefs and amateur cooks together to showcase their specialties, family recipes, and inventive twists on their favorite soups. It was exciting to test so many different soups, including combinations I would have never thought to try, like say Dagobah Soup (an ode to Star Wars) or a deconstructed fish taco soup.The soups were judged by Cathy Erway, blogger of Not Eating Out in New York; Gabrielle Langholz, editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan; Jake Schiffman of the Food Network; and Sherri Brooks Vinton food writer, as well as votes by those who attended the event for their favorite. Check out the list of the participants and their soups, as well as the winning entries. Also, be sure to check back tomorrow for the winning recipes and even more photos of this fun event!

     First  Annual Souperama: The Participants
    • Sam Mason-Green Chile Chicken Corn Chowder
    • Catherine Harvey-Goat Dumpling Soup
    • Rhonda Tuchow-Creamy Carrot and Ginger Soup
    • Ted Smith-Deconstructed Fish Soup
    • Joy Turk-Roasted Corn Chowder
    • Dave Miss-Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower Soup
    • Patricia Clark-Tuscan Ribollita
    • Cassidy Leggett-White Bean, Chicken and Kale Soup
    • Noah Berland-Chocolate Soup
    • Barbara Luciano, Laura Luciano-Italian Escarole Soup
    • Karol Lu-Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato with Apple Salsa and Parsnip Crumbs
    • Lorene Straka, Tabitha Alterman, Lindsay Deefholts-Dagobah Soup (Spicy Miso, Kimchi, and Pork)
    • Katie Goldberg (host)-Punched Up Pumpkin
    • Kheedim Oh-Mama O's Kimchi Soup (Kimchi and Jigae)
    • Jimmy's House Soup-(Beef, Six-Point Brown Ale, Upstate Rye Grain, Root Vegetables) 
    • Serena Norr (me)-Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup
                Kheedim Oh and Katie Goldberg (left to right)     

    Catherine Harvey and RhondaTuchow (left to right)
    Karol Lu, Laura and Barbara Luciano, and Noah Berland (left to right)

    The Winning Soups:
    • First Place-Sam Mason-Green Chile Chicken Corn Chowder
    • Second Place-Karol Lu-Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup
    • Third Place (tie)-Catherine Harvey-Goat Soup and Ted Smith-Deconstructed Fish Taco Soup
    People's Choice for Best Soup:
    • (Tie) Deconstructed Fish Taco, Roasted Parsnip, and Green Chile Chicken Corn Chowder
    Don't forget to check out tomorrow's post for the winning recipes! The event was also covered on metromix with some incredible photos of everyone involved.

    Seriously Soupy Serena

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Leftover Bean Soup aka White Bean Puree Soup

     White Bean Puree

    As I mentioned, I participated in the First Annual Souperama! this weekend where I entered my roasted eggplant and white bean soup. It didn't win, but I had an incredible experience meeting 15 other soupy lovers-professional chefs, caterers and people who simply just love soup (I'll be posting more about that exciting event tomorrow and Wednesday). After the soup was done, I miscalculated the amount of beans I needed where I ended up with over three cups of cannelloni white beans. Now, I could have either made some sort of white bean puree, placed them in my cupboard and saved them for another use, but true to soupy form I decided to keep cooking and use the beans for a soup. Similar to the beans in the cupboard soup concept of using what I had, I added in some carrots, edamame, along with the leftover broth and some seasonings-creating a simple soup whose ingredients can be altered based on what you have and your  taste preferences. Enjoy and be sure to check out tomorrow's posts of the Souperama!

    3 cups of white beans (approximately)
    3-4 cups of water
    1 container of Pacific Vegetable Broth
    1 onion, cut up
    1 clove of garlic, minced
    10-15 baby carrots
    1 cup of edamame
    3-5 bay leaves
    pinch of tumeric
    pinch of salt
    pinch of pepper
    bunch of fresh basil
    bunch of fresh mint

    Soak dry beans until shell loosens up (about 2-3 hours) and start boiling water. Add the garlic, onions and white beans and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour. While the beans are cooking, add water to a separate pot and when boiled add the edamame and let cook for 10 minutes. Drain the water with the edamame, let cook and de-shell, placing the peas in the pot. Add the carrots, seasonings (tumeric, basil, salt and pepper) and let cook-testing the taste and adding more water (if necessary). When beans are soft, turn off the flame and blend the ingredients together. Enjoy

    P.S. I used a hand blender to puree the soup, which left it semi-chunky. If you are seeking a smoother consistency, I would suggest to use a blender.

    Seriously Soupy Serena

    Leftover Bean Soup Aka White Bean Puree Soup

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Soup Recipe Exchange

    This week has been pretty busy leading up to the First Annual Souperama!-picking a soup, buying enough ingredients for 200 people, and finally making the soup itself. With all of that and life in general, I haven't had enough time to provide a super extensive soup recipe exchange, BUT these selections are some of my favorites from the week and maybe a smaller list will enable you to make all three (if you are up to the challenge). Hope you enjoy these selections and swing by Jimmy's No. 43 this weekend for the Souperama! Also, a special welcome to the newest soup blogger-soup chick aka Lydia Walshin who actually has been blogging for some time now on The Perfect Pantry. Her new project will showcase seven soups every Saturday from different blogs, in addition to "cookbooks, soup pots, bowls and tureens," as stated by the soup chick. Can't wait to see what recipes show up on her site!
    • Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup- Created for her hubby, Maria of Two Peas in a Pod made a scrumptious looking soup composed of black beans and sweet potatoes. I loved how she included sweet potato (personal fav of mine) that she had lying around, along with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cumin and cilantro that resulted in a tasty, filling, and nutritional soup with a kick.
    • Dried Bean and Rosemary Soup- If I had to pick a favorite herb rosemary is definitely in the top three, so when I saw this dried bean and rosemary soup I was instantly attracted to this concept. Created by Brent Ridge of the site-Beekman 1802, this soup uses some basic components (chicken, garlic, onions) and fuses them with dried beans that soak overnight and lard to create a tasty puree. I also love the garnish option (lemon, parsley, and truffle oil), which Ridge states "adds depth to the earthy beans."
    • ABC Meatball- Created by Steamy Kitchen, this ABC Meatball was designed for her kids as a simple and hearty soup that even sneaks in a heaping amount of veggies. The turkey meatballs on their own sound amazing, along with the use of fun ABC-shaped pasta and veggies (carrots, celery, and bell peppers) that is a certainly a healthy dish for adults and kids alike.
    Seriously Soupy Serena

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Garnishing with Vegetable Chips

    Garnishing with veggies is a simple way to enhance your soup, and one that can be done in its raw form or changed up a bit, by turning veggies into a crunchy chip. Probably best placed on top of a thicker soup, like say a butternut squash and not water-based one, veggie chips can enhance the flavor and texture of your soup or just be a tasty side to your dish. I tested our making a veggie chip with carrots (had them on hand), but this recipe can work with sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, beets, and squash, etc-it's really limitless and easy to use for virtually all root veggies.

    Vegetable Chips
    10-15 baby carrots, cut lengthwise-(I had the baby ones, but whole carrots would have been better)
    bunch of fresh mint
    pinch of celery salt
    pinch of sea salt
    pinch of pepper
    approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the carrots lengthwise on place them on a sheet of aluminum foil or a baking sheet. Cut up the fresh mint and place it on top, along with the celery salt, sea salt and pepper. Let cook for 30-45 minutes, let dry and place on a soup of your choice or simply eat as is.

    Soups That Work With Veggie Chips

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    First Annual NYC Souperama!

    In case you haven't read on my facebook or twitter pages Seriously Soupy is participating in the First Annual NYC Souperama this Saturday, March 6th. Held at Jimmy's No. 43, you'll be able to sample a soup from me, as well as from the 15 other soup enthusiasts all afternoon (1pm-5pm) for 20 bucks (all money is donated to the charities-Harbor Hope and the Fresh Air Fund). Since I found out about this event this week I have been trying to come up with the perfect soup-one that is a. obviously tasty and original and b. is also not too intricate to make since I have to cook for 200 people (it is only 2ounce servings, but still). Going back-and-forth between some of my favorites, I finally decided on the soup and it is definitely one I hadn't planned on featuring, but now makes sense. I know, no real info there, but I will say that it is a soup that I have featured on the site and one that is my new favorite (hint, hint). Hope you can make in down to Jimmy's No. 43 and I look forward to eating some soup with you!

    Seriously Soupy Serena

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    RSVP here or you can just show up!
    Event Info:
    Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010
    Time: 1:00-5:00pm
    Location: Jimmy's No. 43
    43 East 7th Street
    You can also find out additional information about the event on Jimmy's No. 43 blog.

    Event details from the organizers:

    The First Annual NYC Souperama! On Saturday, March 6 from 1:00- 5:00 PM soup-lovers should find their way to Jimmy's No. 43 for a day dedicated to delicious soups and the people who make them! $20 at the door will benefit Harbor Hope, a non-profit organization developing educational cooking programs for those with special needs, and The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, providing free summer experiences to New York City children from disadvantaged communities.

    Approximately 15 soups will be scored by a panel of judges. Judges include:

    · Cathy Erway, author of The Art of Eating In and Not Eating Out In New York.

    · Jake Schiffman from The Food Network

    · Gabrielle Langholz, editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn

    · Sherri Brooks Vinton, food writer

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup

     Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup - Seriously Soupy

    Originally for today's post I wanted to feature a French onion soup - nothing to inventive, but a soup that I had never created on my own and one that I surely enjoy. Unfortunately, my not-so-reliable Caloric Ultra-Ray oven from the 1960s (one step above an easy bake oven) let me down, so the baking aspect, and thus, the French onion soup wasn't going to happen. I then thought about eggplant. I wanted to make a soup out of this hearty veggie for some time now, but due to the debunk oven I would have to pan fry it, which I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to do for this soup. Then all of sudden the pre-historic oven was up and running again (stomping my feet in rage had nothing to do with that), but the French onion concept seemed dull, or least not right for now compared to my new idea--roast the eggplant in olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh basil while a soup broth is cooking with white beans, onions, fresh mint, and some seasonings. I completed this by blending it all together and instantly one of my new favorite soupy's was created. Also, I didn't really set out for this, but dairy didn't seem necessary, so the soup is dairy-free, then I realized it's essentially white beans and eggplant, so it's also vegan, low-fat, and gluten-free, but certainly not free on flavor.

    eggplant getting ready to roast with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh basil

    Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup
    2-3 cups of water
    1 medium-sized organic eggplant
    1 can of cannelloni white beans (I would use dry, but this was a last minute idea)
    1 clove of garlic
    1 yellow onion, chopped up
    2 tablespoons of olive oil
    1 quart (32oz) of Pacific Natural Foods Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
    1 package of fresh basil
    1 package of fresh mint
    pinch of celery salt
    pinch of thyme
    pinch of sea salt
    pinch of pepper
    Serves: 6-8

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the eggplant in half and cut into medium-sized squares (along with the skin), making sure to discard of the top part. Place the eggplant on a sheet of aluminum foil (or an oven-safe baking pan), cut open the garlic and place the whole clove on top, along with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few sprigs of fresh basil. Cover and place in the oven. Let cook for 45 minutes to one hour, periodically checking on it. About 20 minutes into the cooking time, add the water and half the container of broth to a pot. Cut the onion and add to the pot and let simmer on a low heat. When eggplant is finished roasting (should be browned and soft), add it to the pot and the remaining broth, as well as another cup of water. Add the beans, more olive oil, basil, and mint and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Start to taste-adding salt, pepper, thyme, and celery salt, adjusting based on your preferences.Turn off flame, let cool, and blend (I used a hand blender, which left the soup semi-chunky). Taste if more seasonings are needed and enjoy!

    P.S. I can't say enough about this soup. As I mentioned, it has definitely become one of my favorites, but a little crunchy bite would have been ideal to top off the soup, like say, a crouton! I love this recipe from Savory Sweet Life, but maybe for this soup I would have used fresh basil or mint instead of parsley to complete the already bursting-with-flavor soupy. Oh well, there is always next time.

    What type of eggplant soup have you made?
    Seriously Soupy Serena

    Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup