When I was a kiddo, I used to love when my mother or my Granny (my great aunt) made beans. Pinto beans, lima beans, red beans, navy beans, any bean – loved them, especially with cornbread. As I grew older and developed an eternal relationship with Mexican food, I wanted more beans than meat in my entrees. There was a restaurant in Charlotte that used to have this bomb taco salad for lunch – huge shell with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and refried beans...I used to order mine with extra beans. SO good! I’ve also always had a love for soup. When I was just a girl, I wanted chicken noodle soup or chicken and stars soup in a thermos for lunch.
When I moved out on my own, I used to make soup and/or beans weekly in my crock pot and would eat that for a week. It wasn’t just that it was economical, although that didn’t hurt, but it was a tasty, one-pot meal that kept me full and satisfied without fail.
Not much has changed. I still have beans and soup in my weekly rotation. Both make good lunch options (for the office or at home) and in the fall and winter, they help keep the household well (or help us get better when the cooties win over).
In addition to being delicious, beans:
- Contain cancer-fighting plant chemicals.
- Have soluble fiber, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Can help regulate blood glucose.
- Are a great source of protein and iron.
- Help stabilize energy, and those rich in thiamine (like cannellini) help with brain cell function and cognition.
Delicious + Nutritious = Winning!
White bean soup makes me happy. I make mine with great northern beans and/or cannellini Beans. Sometimes I am decadent and add bacon, while other times I keep it simple and light(ish). The fun part is you can modify to fit your mood or taste. Here’s my almost vegetarian version, which is quick and easy and low in fat. Let me know how you make this your own
- 4-15.5 oz cans white beans (most recently I used 1 can of great northern beans and 3 cans of cannellini – white kidney beans–any combo will work)
- 2 tbs Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base
- ½ Vidalia chopped onion
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
- Pinch of ground pepper
- Pinch of sea salt
- 6 cups water
- Open beans and pour into a colander over the sink so they can drain. Rinse under cool water until water runs clear.
- In large saucepan (4 qt or larger), heat butter over medium low heat.
- When butter has melted, add onion, Italian seasoning and bay leaf.
- Heat until onions are soft.
- Add Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base.
- Stir until well mixed.
- Add beans and stir being sure to stir to the bottom of the pan to catch the seasonings that have fallen.
- Add 6 cups of water and heat on high to a rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Turn off heat.
- Remove bay leaf.
- Using immersion blender, blend until the soup is the desired consistency. Sometimes I like mine velvety smooth and other times like it smooth’ish with some bites of full beans still present
- Ladle into bowls and top with a pinch of pepper and a pinch of sea salt