Faith's Triple Blanco Bean Soup

It’s time for another recipe! I’m moving across the meal spectrum from desserts, to salads and now to soups/stews. Blame it on My Life In France. In case you didn’t know, Julia Child was pretty kewl.

Most people don’t eat white beans on a regular basis, so serving three varieties in one dish is a treat. This is one of my favorite recipes – which calls for Cannellini, Great Northern and Navy because it’s so versatile.

I recommend making a huge vat where you can eat some upfront and freeze the rest in portions. Of course you must have a full-bodied or extra-dry white wine to complete the meal.

This can be served as a main or side dish. It can be prepared vegan-style. You add varying amounts of liquid based on individual preference. You can substitute veggies to taste. It’s delectable and nutritious — oh and most importantly it’s filling since it’s high in fiber as well as low-calorie. Beans are a carb, but combined with whole grain rice it becomes a protein. You can’t go wrong!

You may adjust all of the above if you follow a raw food diet of course. If beans don’t agree with you…um sorry. Take an enzyme pill and add a large salad to aid your digestion. Or a protein. Also note the preferred cooking method of pre-soaking and slow cooking dried beans removes the complex sugars that makes them difficult to digest.

Beans

4 pounds dried white beans [soak and rinse overnight] or
6-9 (15-ounce) cans white beans [drain and rinse1/2, keep the liquid from the other 1/2]

Stock

6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock (low sodium)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Seasonings

3 garlic cloves, [roasted] and minced

2 garlic cloves [roasted] whole

1-2 vidalia onions, finely chopped
2 shallots, chopped

3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme, basil, oregano or cilantro [as preferred]
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Veggies
2 bell peppers [orange, yellow, red] chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
Optional:

1-2  8 oz. Cans corn (or 4 ears)

1 8oz. Can Diced Tomatoes

2 medium-sized Red Potatoes [Baked and diced]

Greens Options

1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves roughly chopped

4 oz. Container fresh Baby Spinach, roughly chopped

1 bunch Kale, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS: 

Short on time? Choose the canned option [using the combo of broth and bean liquid accordingly], but I suggest pre-soaking overnight and using a slow cooker for maximum flavor.Use plain water during 1/2 the cooking process to allow for tender beans, adding the broth later so it doesn’t cook down and get wasted. Cooking times will vary based on volume and method but anticipate at least 3 hours for the dried beans. You can use a stockpot to cook stovetop which requires more attendance.

Roast garlic cloves with potatoes, baking at 350 degrees

Combine onions, carrots, celery and peppers, coating with olive oil in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Do not cook thoroughly. Add the minced garlic, potatoes, corn and tomatoes. Set aside. If you’re not a garlic fan chuck it!

In a smaller pan prepare greens for blanching with olive oil. Set aside.

Add all to beans during final 10-15 minutes. Think al dente. Kale and chard needs more cooking time than spinach, so adjust accordingly. Spices are added last. Salt and pepper are used only as needed.

The final results should be mostly beans with a smattering of color. Serve as preferred: mains or side, w/ or w/o meat, cheese and/or breads. 

ENJOY!

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