Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday's Soup/Italian White Bean and Vegetable Soup

It's always interesting, at least to me, how a memory can be triggered. In my early twenties, I was working, going to school, paying rent, making a car payment, and there were times when my money just wouldn't stretch any further. So, a bag of beans and a bag of rice were on the menu. Not very exciting, but, I never went hungry. You would think that after weeks of eating beans and rice, I would not want to go anywhere near a bag of beans. But, rather than a difficult memory, a bag of beans represents comfort and warmth :) 

The soup recipe I'm sharing today is a very far cry from a dish of beans and rice. Actually, there's no rice in the soup. Instead, it's filled with fabulous fall vegetables, carrots, zucchini, purple top turnips, potatoes, and a bag of large white beans.

There is a little surprise ingredient, and that's an onion that is studded with 8 cloves. The onion is cooked along with the beans and vegetables, and then discarded once the soup is ready. This is something that my grandmother would do, and it really adds a wonderful richness to the soup. 

This soup is a great dump and go recipe. Just chop up all of the vegetables, throw them in a big pot with the white beans. It's also a great soup to make in a crockpot. 

Below you can see the clove studded onion cooking along with the vegetables. I wish there was smell-o-vision!!! 

The soup is perfect for a cool fall evening. It will freeze well, so eat half and save the rest for another meal. 

Italian White Bean and Vegetable Soup

1 1 lb. bag of dried large white beans
2 lbs. zucchini
2 purple top turnips
1 lb. carrots
3 stalks celery
1 large onion
1 medium onion studded with 8 cloves
3 bay leaves
1 25 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
12 cups vegetable broth
salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse beans and soak overnight. 
Drain and rinse beans. Place in a large pot with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Chop all vegetables except the onion studded with cloves. Place all vegetables in soup pot. Add tomatoes(do not drain), studded onion, basil, oregano, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 3 hours, or until beans are tender. Before serving, remove clove studded onion and the bay leaves. 

Serve with crusty garlic bread and enjoy!

If you would like to cook the soup in a crockpot:
Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours. 

Hope you enjoy the soup...and the beans as much as I do!

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  1. MMMMMMMMM. That looks really good. I'll eat just about anything that comes with crusty bread -- garlic or other. Wondering what white beans taste like now.

    1. White beans are especially mild, so they are a great pairing in vegetable soups. Hope you are doing well and that your eyesight is all back to normal :)