Nothing quite beats the autumn and winter chill quite like a bowl of soup.
It’s getting to be that time of year when it gets chilly outside and the best way to warm back up is to curl up and enjoy a warm and satisfying meal.
Unfortunately, when you go looking through your family cookbooks or look up recipes online, you’ll find many soup recipes that while hearty, warm and filling, use tons of butter or cream – not exactly the healthiest and most forgiving ingredients for your waistline especially during a time of year when you may already not be getting as much exercise as you would like.
What to do, what to do? All you need is a creative and equally delicious alternative. Purred white beans are a terrific substitute!
When purred, white beans take on a texture that is extraordinarily creamy, making them a great replacement for cream and butter. Of course, you also get the added benefits of using an ingredient that is healthier and bursting with essential protein. That is exactly what we use in this creamy cold-weather soup.
Using Randall Beans white beans and a turnip/potatoes blend as the base, this white bean soup is rich and herbaceous without all the guilt of heavy ingredients. Roasted garlic along with plenty of thyme, fennel, rosemary, carrots and onion elevate each other’s bright and sharp flavors.
Perfect for a big-batch, one-pot Sunday night dinner with plenty of leftovers to go around, this rich and creamy, but healthy, white bean soup is one of our fall and winter favorites.
Creamy, Healthy White Bean Soup
- 1 24-oz. jar Randall Beans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. 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 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish
- Toast, bread and crackers, to accompany
- 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.