Soup & Stew, Vegetarian

French Tarbais Bean Soup

with Green Olive Toasts

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus a few hours (or overnight) to pre-soak the beans
Cook Time: 2 hours

French White Bean Soup


1 c. French Tarbais beans, or other large dried white bean
2 Tbs. butter or olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
6 c. vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
Pinch of baking soda
1 large leek, sliced
1 medium russet potato, peeled & diced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Green Olive Toasts, recipe follows


Pick through beans, place in bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse.

Heat medium, heavy sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter, garlic, bay leaf and thyme; saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans, stock and baking soda; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 1-1/2 hours.

Add leeks, potatoes and more water, if needed. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with rosemary, salt & pepper.

To serve: Ladle soup into 4 bowls and top each with two olive toasts.

Green Olive Toasts


1 c. Picholine olives, pitted
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice, or more, to taste
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. chopped Italian parsley
8 slices French baguette, toasted & rubbed with garlic


Rinse olives well to remove some of the excess brine; place in food processor and pulse to desired consistency. Pour out into a bowl and season to taste with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, zest and parsley.

Spread olive mixture onto baguette toasts.