I like the concept of a soup that has no strict recipe but consists of seasonal vegetables, beans, and some sort of pasta. I like playing with different combinations and noodle shapes, but this version, without pasta, is perfect to crown with pan-roasted sea scallops.
YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS
2 cups dried white lima or kidney beans
1⁄2 cup corn, fresh-cut from 2 cobs or frozen
1⁄2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 1⁄2 cups diced celery
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups Gewürztraminer, Sauternes, or Riesling wine 8 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound sea scallops
1 cup finely julienned collard greens
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves for garnish
This dish can be a great main course, or in smaller portions as a starter.
Cover beans with water and soak overnight.
Place a stockpot over medium heat. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, carrots, onions, and celery in the saucepan. Sweat until onions are translucent, 3–4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, incorporating well. Deglaze pan with wine. Drain the beans
and add them. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45–60 minutes, or until beans are tender. The soup
may be prepared ahead of time to this point, and refrigerated if it is held more than briefly.
Season scallops with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sear scallops. Shortly before serving, reheat the soup. Add scallops, collard greens, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Simmer another 2 minutes, or until scallops are cooked. Divide soup among warmed bowls. Sprinkle with cheese, thyme, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
This is a great fall or late summer dish. Served with a light Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
Use shrimp in place of scallops or finish with jumbo lump crabmeat.