Dec 18, 2014

Simple Bean Soup

Simple Bean Soup from Dried White BeansTo make the best bean soup start with dried beans. They cook up meaty and satisfying and with my recipe, almost no work at all. My simple bean soup is exactly that. In fact, it’s so simple I was afraid it wouldn’t have enough flavor but wow! I was really surprised how much flavor the beans got just from a piece of carrot and celery and a clove of garlic.

There is no chopping to do. The best thing about this easy bean soup is you just put a piece of carrot and a piece of celery in with the beans, along with a whole clove of garlic, and by the time the beans are done, they have absorbed all that great flavor. Then remove the three flavoring pieces and after that, all you need is salt. I like a thick, hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup so I thicken it at the end with a little flour. If you don’t like it my way, you can omit the flour at the end.

You may notice that I do not soak the beans first. Well, you can do that and it will reduce the cooking time but to me, the beans taste better without soaking. I experimented with soaking the beans overnight and doing the quick soak where you bring them to a boil and let stand for an hour. In both cases, you are supposed to discard the soaking water and cook with fresh water but then you’re also discarding some of the flavor and nutrients. To me the soaked beans were not as meaty or tasty as the no-soak method.

As for starting with hot water that, too, surprised me at how much more flavor the beans took on by starting in hot water. I don’t know why but it’s the only way I make my bean soup now. I use hot, not boiling water, so it’s the temperature of hot tap water, about 125 °F.

Here are some reasons to eat beans: They have calcium, iron, potassium, protein, soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol, and just like vegetables beans have antioxidants to protect against heart disease and cancer. They also provide a slow, steady release of glucose making bean soup a good choice for diabetics.

When it’s cold outside, you will love my simple bean soup. Actually, it’s 75 degrees today in California but it’s cold somewhere! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

7 Comments on "Simple Bean Soup"

  1. Barry B.

    If you can eat ham (sigh), buy a whole ham. Cook the bone and trimmed pieces until the meat falls off the bone. two or three or four hours. Strain and use the broth to make this soup. The picture appears to show Great Northern white beans here. This soup is also good with pinto beans.
    Please, cook dried beans, it’s not much trouble and so much better than using canned beans.
    I never soak beans.

  2. Dorinda

    I too like a thick, hearty soup, but instead of adding flour I usually use an immersion blender to partially puree some of the good ingredients in whatever the soup or put half in a blender or food processor. The puréed beans, veggies eat al give the soup a nice thickness. Love your recipes….in fact am just making your pastry recipe to make my Canadian Butter Tarts! Merry Christmas. Leslie in Edmonton, ALBERTA, Canada.

  3. Gail

    Hello, This recipe looks delicious; I haven’t met a bean I didn’t like. Is it ok to use other beans like kidney beans, black beans, or even red beans too?

    • Jenny

      I have only used white beans so you would have to try.

  4. MaryH

    Why would you take the carrot and celery out of the soup? Couldn’t you just cut them fine and leave them in?

    • Jenny

      Most of their vitamins are cooked into the soup and they are very soft and flimsy but yes, you can cut (or mash) them into the soup. Sometimes, I make the soup per my recipe and when the beans are almost done, I throw in some freshly diced vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes for a nice vegetable-bean soup. Maybe I should post that recipe…

  5. Rhonda

    I love beans. I’ve got to try your recipe here. My favorite bean is pintos. These look like great northerns, which I like as well. Looks delicious…

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