Chicory and White Bean Soup
Gourmet | December 2003
Yield: Makes 4 first-course servings

2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (40 fluid ounces)
1 head chicory (1 pound), torn into 2-inch pieces (16 cups)
1 (16- to 19-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained

Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; extra-virgin olive oil

Cook onions in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Stir in chicory and beans, then simmer, uncovered, until chicory is tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender and purée until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then stir into remaining soup to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve sprinkled with cheese and drizzled with oil.