This white bean soup comes together quickly thanks to the utilitarian gift that is a can of beans. While you can certainly make your own pesto for this recipe, we use our favorite store bought version to fully lean into the ease of this simple, flavor packed dish.
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, finely diced
Sea salt to season
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can white beans (such as cannelini, great northern beans, etc.), drained and rinsed
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 piece kombu
A couple grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup pesto, store bought or homemade
1 can Ekone albacore tuna, drained and flaked into bite sized pieces
Zest of one meyer lemon
Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the shallots, and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat the shallots in the warm fat, and cook until they are just beginning to caramelize - about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat, and cook for another minute or two - until the smell of the garlic and herbs is irresistibly wafting through the air. Add the white beans to the pan, and stir to coat in the herbaceous allium-y goodness. Deglaze the pan with the wine, bring it up to a simmer, and cook for a few minutes to allow the bite of the alcohol to dissipate.
Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, kombu, and a couple generous grinds of black pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a trembling simmer. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and kombu, and transfer ⅔ of the contents of the pan to a high speed blender. Blend till the soup is silky and smooth, then return to the pan. If you prefer your soup to be silky throughout, add the entire contents of the pan to the blender and blend till smooth.
Season the soup with the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning, and adjust with another pinch of salt if necessary.
In a small frying pan set over medium heat, add the reserved olive oil and tuna. Heat until the tuna is thoroughly warmed through. Season with half of the meyer lemon zest.
To serve, ladle the piping hot soup into your favorite bowl. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of pesto per bowl, and top with the warm tuna, another grind of black pepper, and the remaining meyer lemon zest.