“I came across a photo in magazine of a beautiful white bean soup. My husband actually brought me the article and asked me to make the soup in the picture for him. It used a unfamiliar bean that you could slow cook without having to soak first. However, not having that bean on hand yet having plenty of other white beans, I decided to throw some white navy beans in a bowl of water to soak that night. I came up with this variation the next evening. The photos in the magazine were of a very simple soup, predominately beans with just a few carrots and quite a bit of broth. It was also fairly simple in herbs. I used a heavy hand with garlic and rosemary yet this soup is not overpowering in either flavor. Instead you get a nice winter flavor full of fresh herbs and black pepper. It’s a warming bowl of deliciousness perfect for a cold, rainy Seattle winter.”
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (with garlic press)
- 2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 5 cups water + 4 tsp Low Sodium Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base OR 5 cups of your favorite veggie broth
- 5 cups white beans, cooked (or canned beans drained and rinsed)
- 1 tbsp fresh, roughly chopped parsley (plus a little extra to finish)
- 2 medium carrots, cut lengthwise in quarters then sliced in 1/2 inch slices
- 1 rib celery, sliced lengthwise in half then sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- black pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp because I like it peppery!)
- In heavy bottomed dutch oven, heat about 1-2 tbsp olive oil and saute onion (and a pinch of salt) for about 7-10 minutes until tender and translucent
- Add minced garlic and saute another minute or two.
- Add in rosemary and thyme and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Immediately add in broth or water and bouillon (see footnote) as well as the beans, fresh chopped parsley, carrots, celery and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid.
- Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until carrots and celery are tender. If you like this less brothy you can remove lid and allow some of the broth to reduce down (see footnote). Add more pepper and salt to taste and garnish with a little extra chopped parsley or rosemary and enjoy with a large slice of rustic flaky bread for a complete satisfying meal.
Footnotes: Living in Seattle means I make soup and lots of it. I have tried just about every variation of boxed broths and bouillons and the one I use in this recipe is hard to beat. Broth is going to make (or break) the flavor of your soup. Of course, the best if the kind you make from scratch but I usually don’t have that kind of time on hand. If you can, order this one and I think you’ll find you’ll use it a lot. I use it almost exclusively. I vary the amount of bouillon to water to attain the flavor needed. It’s a pretty strong flavor so I usually use less than recommended. In this recipe I used 4 tsp to 5 cups water. You can purchase it at Amazon. There are lots of variations so make sure you get the Organic Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base-Reduced Sodium.
The photo on this recipe is what mine looked like while I cooked it covered with the lid while simmering. I allowed it to simmer for 40 minutes to enhance the flavor. Feel free to cook this longer to get the flavors to meld and for the soup to thicken a bit.
I really prefer dried, cooked beans to canned. I usually make several beans early in the week then freeze them in 2-3 cup increments in Ziploc bags for easy availability.