White Bean Soup With Smoked Salt
1 pound dried large white beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 dried peperoncino chile, in small pieces, or a generous pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
Soak the beans overnight in water to cover generously. Drain and place in a large pot with fresh water to cover by 1 inch, slowly bring to a simmer. cover and simmer gently until tender (about 45 minutes). Season with kosher salt and let cool in the liquid. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat, add the garlic, chile and oregano and cook briefly to release the garlic fragrance. Using a food processor, puree half of the beans with some of the reserved bean cooking liquid. Transfer the puree to a soup pot and stir in the whole beans, the seasoned olive oil and enough of the bean cooking liquid to achieve a soup consistency. Season to taste with kosher salt, leaving the soup slightly undersalted. To serve, reheat the soup, divide among warm bowls and sprinkle each serving with several grains of smoked salt. Serves 6