I once said how I had meant to start this blog years before I actually did. Well, some years before Mango Power Girl, I had started a vegetarian wiki. It began with a collection of my recipes with which I meant to experiment. My White Bean Soup is a recipe from the old wiki collection that has been refined, re-made, and varied in so many ways. It is an all-time favorite in our household. This common Italian-style soup can be adapted to fit many tastes and needs. I would call it simple, but satisfying.
One variation featured here would be the use of kohlrabi. Some years ago, I would’ve never known to buy kohlrabi, but by now I can tell you a few different ways to use it. I found the most beautiful kohlrabi from Red Barn Organic Farm. When I bought some recently for the salad I made for the Comox Valley Kids, I made White Bean Soup with the other bulb. Kohlrabi worked wonders because it’s root-like and earthy, adding flavor and body.
I have used vegetable stocks and broths before, but now I almost never use them. I consider them unnecessary — they’re usually over-processed, wasteful, and high in sodium, all of which no one really needs. The store-bought stock is also expensive as hell! If you have enough earthy vegetables, you don’t need anything fancy for a base — water will do just fine!
As I very unwillingly say goodbye to summer (see, I’m still not giving up on the last bit of market basil :), I am also trying to convince myself to enjoy fall. I know the new season will bring wonderful fruits and vegetables that we enjoy. Have I mentioned? I still hate putting on those thick socks and scarves :'( not to mention the rain in Seattle is back.
This soup really helps me cope with any cold season. It will be warming us up all winter, too!
2 small cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 big cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 big tomato, freshly chopped
4 diced carrots
1 diced zucchini
1 diced kohlrabi
1 twig with fresh rosemary leaves
1 tspn dried oregano
1 tspn dried thyme
1/2 tspn red pepper flakes
2 bean cans full of water
salt & pepper to taste
2 tspns sugar
extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil to garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a pot on medium high.
2. Sauté the onions & garlic till translucent, do not let them brown!
3. Add bay leaves, red pepper flakes, carrots, kohlrabi, and zucchini. Add all the herbs and seasonings, and cook till the vegetables are slightly tender.
4. Now add beans and water.
5. Bring it to a boil, and reduce heat to low, letting it simmer till half of the water simmers off.
6. White beans cook pretty quickly, so add the tomatoes and sugar next, and let it simmer some more till most of the water boils off.
7. Mash about a fourth of the beans in the pot with a spoon or a potato masher. This will make the soup nice and thick. Stir, and let it cook for a few more minutes.
8. Once you achieve the consistency you like, taste it and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
9. Pull out the bay leaves, the rosemary twig, garnish with some extra virgin olive oil and basil, and serve with a nice crusty bread.