This Easy White Bean Soup is the perfect comfort food recipe for those cold winter evenings. If you are looking for something healthy, hearty and gluten free, this creamy one pot white bean soup is the recipe for you.
It’s the end of fall and despite the fact that it has yet to snow in Montreal, we’ve still been experiencing some cold evenings. This Easy White Bean Soup is the perfect remedy for the winter blues. Make sure you have some crusty bread to serve with this thick, comforting soup.
Just like this Crustless Quiche, this is one of my favorite comfort foods. You won’t believe how simple it is to make!
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR BEAN SOUP:
The most time consuming part about this recipe is prepping the vegetables, but I guarantee the end product is well worth the investment of chopping vegetables for 10 minutes.
Once your vegetables are prepped, you sauté them for a couple of minutes and then just add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer.
In just a few hours, you’ll have a high fiber, chunky, hearty white bean soup.
When you first read through the recipe, you will notice there is no indication to soak the beans prior to making the soup. This is not an omission.
As long as the salt is added towards the end of the cooking time, the beans will soften and your white bean soup thickens wonderfully.
In actual fact, there are mixed opinions on this. Some will say that the salt can be added at any point during the cooking time, and that it’s only acid that truly affects the beans. Others say that it’s the addition of sugars, e.g. ketchup, that make for bean-toughness.
I don’t know who’s right, but what’s always worked for me has been adding salt after several hours of simmering. As always, feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices.
Post update: For those of you wanting to know more about cooking beans, here is a great reference from Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen.
According to the author, potential causes that may contribute to uncooked dried beans consist of:
- hard water;
- old or stale beans and
- the presence of an acidic foods.
Origins of the recipe for Easy White Bean Soup:
In a previous post, I shared this Veal Stew recipe, where I mentioned my large collection of recipe clippings from the Wednesday Food section of the Montreal Gazette. As a faithful reader (all my adult life!) of this local paper, I am sure you can envision my shoe-boxes crammed with wonderful recipes (these Baked Beans is another example).
Imagine my surprise when one Wednesday morning, about 20 years ago, I flipped to the Food section only to find this bean soup recipe.
In an open letter to the food editor, a reader expressed his desire to obtain the bean soup recipe from one of his favorite local restaurants. Lo and behold, the restaurant owner shared his recipe.
At that time, I probably would not have paid any attention to this other than the fact that this restaurant (Carveli) was a couple of blocks away from the hospital where I worked. My colleagues and I would often have lunch there and this fasolatha served with their pita bread was a favorite of ours.
Needless to say, I was just thrilled!
In fact, I was so thrilled that the dietary team and I developed a large scale recipe (250 portions) to serve this healthy, hearty and filling bean soup to our clients.
Over the years, especially during the fall and winter, this has also become a household perennial favorite.
I will often prepare a big batch of this Easy White Bean Soup on the week end as this is a wonderful make ahead soup.
Somehow, this big batch soup with white beans always disappears within a few days.
How long will it last in your fridge?
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this White Bean Soup, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Easy White Bean Soup
This Easy White Bean Soup is the perfect comfort food recipe for those cold winter evenings. If you are looking for a healthy, hearty and gluten free soup, this creamy one pot white bean soup is the recipe for you.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions chopped
- 3 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 head celery including leaves, chopped (10-14 stalks)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 500 grams dried white navy beans approx 1 pound, sorted and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 12 cups water
- fresh or dried herbs parsley,sage,thyme, etc...
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- Drizzle olive oil in a large stockpot.
- Add all the vegetables and garlic; saute for a couple of minutes over medium high heat.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients except salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 2- 2½ hours or until beans are tender and the soup is thick.
- Stir occasionally, especially during last 30 minutes.
- Add more water if soup becomes too thick.
- Season with salt and pepper at the end of the cooking time.
Top off with a drizzle of olive oil and a squirt of freshly squeezed lemon juice once soup has been portioned in individual bowls.
There really is no need to soak the beans; the addition of salt at the end of the cooking time, allows the beans to soften.
500 grams of dried beans is approximately 2½ cups.
The wonderful thing about this soup is that you can use whatever herbs you have on hand... fresh thyme and parsley are my favorites.
If you have them, parsley stalks add great flavor to soups.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.
*recipe lightly adapted from article in The Gazette
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