Hang on tight everyone. You’re about to come on a wild ride with me. I’ve been selected to participate in Emeril’s One Pot Cooking Party. Wondering what that is? Me too! Just kidding. I know all about it. I’ll fill you in.

To celebrate the release of Chef Emeril Lagasse’s upcoming book, Sizzling Skillets and Other One Pot Wonders, 20 food bloggers were selected (out of over 100 applicants!) to receive a copy of Emeril’s new book, review it and write about their journey. We are required to make 3 recipes a week for 3 weeks.

Sidenote: This is where the “wild ride” comes in. As you might remember, my daughter is turning one year old. We are not having one, but two parties for her. And this just so happens to fall in exactly the same time frame as both of the parties. So if you see me in real life, well, it probably isn’t pretty. And I’ll probably be either a) in my kitchen or b) in front of my computer. But this sounded like to much fun to turn down. I can do it all, right? RIGHT? Stress is fun. At least birthday party and cooking party stress is fun!

In addition, I get to host a couple of fun giveaways so stay tuned for that!

Cool, right? I’m super excited that everything in the book can be prepared in one dish. That is definitely my cup of tea. If you’re interested in pre-ordering the book, click here. Or you can wait around and see if you win it….

I jumped right in and got started with cooking up a recipe! I chose to start with the Tuscan White Bean Soup. Unfortunately I can only share some of the recipes with you…if you want the rest you’ll have to buy the book. Fortunately, this is one that I can share. I took a few shortcuts and also halved the recipe because I’m only cooking for two. I’ll share the original recipe with you, which makes about 13 cups (six servings). If you want to make it like I did, cut everything in half. I also noted in parentheses the other changes I made.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe
from Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders by Emeril Lagasse

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups small-diced onion
1 cup small-diced celery
1 cup small-diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic (I went light on this for hubs)
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth (I used reduced sodium stock)
2 pounds dried white beans (cannellini, baby lima, or great Northern), rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained (I used canned cannellini, drained and rinsed. I was short on time)
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, about 1 × 3 inches
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
1 ½ pounds broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I left this out because hubs is not in love with lemon flavor)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. Heat the olive oil in an 8-quart soup pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, dried Italian herbs, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the stock, beans, Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and water and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to simmer gently and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 to 60 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 1 cup of the beans from the pot to a small bowl and mash them with the back of a spoon. Return the mashed beans to the soup and add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the broth thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining black pepper, the broccoli rabe, and rosemary sprig and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and rosemary sprig and discard them. Serve the soup in wide, shallow bowls, garnished with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Verdict: It was a bit on the bitter side for me (believe it or not, I’ve never had broccoli rabe). Nothing a little extra Parmigiano-Reggiano couldn’t fix! Other than that, a hearty and flavorful soup.
Husband’s take: I added diced ham to his, and he loved it. He’s having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. He was surprisingly much more into this soup than I was. Also, I fed some to my 11 month old daughter, and she couldn’t get enough of it.
Changes I would make: None, except I might play around and try kale or spinach for some variety. I also bought some dried baby lima beans that I wanted to use, had I had more time.
Difficulty: Easy!

Full disclosure: For my commitment to this blogger cooking party, I received a copy of this cookbook, as well as a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls, and Emeril Seasoning; a $50 grocery reimbursement and Emeril cookbooks upon completion of the party. The top performing blogger, as selected by T-Fal, will be awarded an Emeril by T-Fal Slow Cooker. You will be eligible to win a copy of the cookbook, as well as the 7-piece zak! set (stick around to hear more about those two things). All opinions about the book and recipes, as always, are my own.