It’s time to curl up around the fire with a bowl of something warm and satisfying. Searching for recipes, you might find tons that call for sinful amounts of cream or butter. While those things are arguably delicious, they can be too heavy and fattening for everyday use. That’s where beans come in.

When pureed, beans (especially white beans) take on a texture that mimics cream almost exactly. It’s rich and luscious without the guilt. Instead of all the fat from cream, you wind up with a protein and fiber-filled thickener that won’t leave you feeling denied. In this simple, comforting soup, half of the white bean, turnip and potato base is blended until smooth, while the other half is left chunky for a rustic texture.

The secret ingredient here is roasted garlic. Don’t skip this step–roasting garlic in the oven turns its sharp flavor into something sweet and mellow that lets the beans shine through. Serve it topped with oyster crackers.

Creamy but Healthy White Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 24-ounce jar Randall Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 10 to 15 large cloves garlic, not peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish
  • Toasts and crackers, to accompany
Instructions

Place the Randall Beans, 3 quarts of water, rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds, and bay leaf in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer briskly, uncovered, for 1 hour, until the beans are half-tender.

Add the turnips, potato, onion, carrots, and parsley to the pot, along with 1 to 2 cups extra  water, enough to keep the vegetables barely free-floating. Continue simmering slowly for 1 hour more, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture is soupy. Remove from the heat and let cool enough to handle.

While the soup simmers, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the garlic in a small ovenproof dish, sprinkle with water to moisten, and roast for 30 minutes, until soft. Remove and let cool, then peel and set aside.

Remove the bay leaf. Swirl half of the soup and the garlic in a food processor until still slightly chunky but not smooth. Return to the pot with the remaining half of the soup. Stir in the salt and pepper and heat until beginning to simmer. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the beans are completely tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Serve right away, garnished with the parsley sprigs and accompanied by a basket of crackers.

Meatless Monday is so much more appealing when incorporating this tasty dish featuring Randall Beans Great Northern Beans.

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