Amaranth and Cannellini Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup amaranth
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the amaranth grains, stock, bay leaf and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf from the mixture, add 1 cup of the beans, and use a handheld blender to purée the soup in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, purée the beans in a food processor, add the amaranth mixture – working in batches if necessary – and purée again until smooth, then return to the pot.)
- Stir in the remaining beans, herbs, and the salt. Warm gently just to heat through. If desired, thin the soup with additional stock (heat the stock before adding to avoid overcooking the soup). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.