Eat More Plants: Recipes
White Bean Soup with Rosemary
By Gayil Nalls
I have a deep passion for soups, which have become a cherished family tradition. Beyond being both healthy and nutritious, they offer a healing and pure enjoyment that transcends the ordinary. To me, soups represent a wonderful way to harness the nourishing power of plants. I’m so happy to share this hearty and flavorful soup recipe that not only satisfies the palate but also serves as a canvas for your culinary creativity.
For many of my winter soups, I begin with the classic combination of a French Mirepoix—onions, celery, and carrots—combined with an Italian Sofrito, a flavorful base of vegetables and herbs.
I tailor the quantities based on whether the soup is intended for pure enjoyment or to serve as a revitalizing elixir.
When planning a soup for the week, I take extra care to prolong the freshness of my herbs, such as cilantro, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and oregano. I find that placing them in a vase, much like a bouquet, and changing the water every few days helps extend their lifespan and ensures that each batch of soup is infused with vibrant aroma, flavors, and health benefits.
A package or one pound of dried White white Beans beans that have soaked overnight. (They can be Navy, flageolet, cannellini, great northern beans, baby lima, or others. Flageolet and navy are two of my favorites but I use them all and I also use wonderful heirloom beans when I can find them).
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 or more garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
3-5 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
8 cups or more of vegetable stock or 2-3 cartons (32 oz)
1-2 tsp of Salt (combo of celtic sea salt and pink himalayan)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 large sprig of rosemary leaves, cut from branch and diced
3-5 bay leaves
Fresh thyme and oregano leaves, minced
In a bowl or stainless pot, cover beans with water by 2 inches and leave them overnight in the refrigerator. Drain.
In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion, carrots, garlic, and celery. Cook for approximately 7 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the carrots are slightly tender. Add garlic, thyme, and oregano, and cook a few more minutes.
Add in the vegetable broth, salt, pepper flakes, beans, rosemary, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, until beans are very soft.
Discard bay leaves.
Serve hot with crusty bread and graded Parmigiano Reggiano or mozzarella on top.
Have the soup this way for several servings, but for the last serving place the remaining soup in a blender, and pulse until pureed, return to pot with cooked pasta, and add salt and pepper for a Pasta Fagioli. Serve hot.
Gayil Nalls, Ph.D., is the creator of World Sensorium and founder of the World Sensorium Conservancy.
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