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This white bean soup is really more of a stew, but my girls and I prefer our soup to be thick and hearty. This soup is full of tomatoes and spices that have an earthy undertone. You will know this soup is done when the soft, white beans take on a reddish hue from being stewed in the tomatoes.
I always make this recipe meatless and find it’s very filling, plus the red pepper flakes give it just a bit of spiciness. My youngest, Alex, doesn’t like anything remotely spicy, so I add extra sour cream to her bowl to tone it down. It looks so pretty with a drizzle of sour cream and chopped green chives! The drizzling technique is easy; just snip off the corner of a sandwich bag that is filled with sour cream, then zigzag it over the soup.
For the Soup
- 2 lb dried great northern beans
- 32 fluid ounces chicken stock
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 tsp dried basil
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 4 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Sour cream
- Small handful of chives, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Clean the dried beans by rinsing and draining them in a colander.
- In a covered pot, soak the beans in boiling water overnight, then drain them.
- Place the beans in a large soup pot and just barely cover them with filtered water.
- Add a quartered onion, carrots and celery, and 4 bay leaves, then bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Discard the cooked onion pieces.
- Cook the chopped onions and minced garlic with the red pepper flakes in a small frying pan until they are tender.
- Add the chicken stock, the canned tomatoes with juice, the onion mixture, and the dried spices to the simmering white beans, then bring to it a boil.
- Simmer on low heat for three hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Garnish with a drizzle of sour cream, chopped chives, and grated Parmesan cheese.
This soup tastes better the longer it simmers so the flavors can blend.
To reduce the sodium content, use canned tomatoes without salt. Using dry beans instead of canned will also reduce the sodium. (Note: the sodium content in the Nutrition Facts below is higher than what the recipe states because it is using canned beans.)
If you prefer soup that is more on the spicier side, just more red pepper flakes.