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.
- 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)
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.