November 29, 2010

The best bean soup....

I've never been into eating soups until a couple years ago. Now I look forward to the cold weather/soup season. This is one of my all time favorite bean soups. It's fairly easy to make but tastes like a million bucks. I originally found the recipe over at . My husband even likes this soup and that's saying alot!

When I made this batch of soup I didn't have any parsley, but normally there would be parsley flakes in the soup. lol

White Bean and Vegetable Soup with Spinach Pistou
(Pistou - French version on pesto)

2 c. dried navy beans
4 oz. (about 4 slices) bacon, diced
1 med. onion, diced (about 1 c.)
2 stalks of celery, diced
5 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) chicken broth
1/2 tsp. anise seed (I usually leave this out but it might be really good in)
1 c. canned whole tomatoes (drained, seeded and chopped) (chopped can tomatoes work fine too)
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh parsley, diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. frozen spinach, defrosted and chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 T. lemon juice

1.) Quick-soak the beans. Place the beans in large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
2.) Make the soup. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until browned but not crisp. Add the onions and celery and saute' until translucent---about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, beans and anise seeds. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, minced parsley, salt and pepper and continue to simmer, partially covered until beans are tender---about 1 hour.
3.) Make the pistou. Place spinach, 1/4 c. chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and remaining salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth.(I have used my blender for this process and it works just as well) Set aside. Ladle soup into bowls and top with 1 to 2 T. of the pistou. Delicious!

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