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White Bean Soup from Home Cooking with Kate McDermott

To make this bean soup, it takes just three easy steps: 1. Cook the beans. 2. Chop and sauté the vegetables. 3. Combine the beans and veggies, and simmer until done. For a really big crowd, add any sort of pasta cooked al dente, with a little extra liquid if needed.
Author: Kate McDermott-Art of the Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (370 g) dry white beans
  • 3 quarts (2.8 l) water or stock (chicken or vegetable), or a combination of water and stock
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 5 medium potatoes red or yellow
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese optional
  • Pesto (optional)
  • 8 ounces pasta cooked al dente (optional)

Instructions

  • Rinse dry beans several times, place them in a Dutch oven or lidded pot, cover with a few inches of water, and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove and discard any foam on top. Let sit for 1 hour.
  • Rinse the beans, and cover them again with 3 quarts (2.8 l) fresh water, stock, or a combination of water and stock. Bring the beans to a boil for about 3 minutes. Remove and discard any foam on top. Turn down the heat, add the optional bay leaf, and simmer partially covered for about 30 minutes while you chop the vegetables.
  • Chop the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions so that they are all about 1/2 to 3/4 inches (1 to 2 cm) in size. You can use a food processor on the pulse setting if you’d like.
  • Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions and let cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic to the vegetables along with the rosemary, thyme, and salt. Let cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the entire vegetable mixture to the soup pot and continue simmering for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft.
  • Add the pasta, if using, towards the end of the simmer.
  • Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled and some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or a dollop of pesto.