Experiencing frosty, blustery weather recently, I make a pleasing winter soup that always satisfies the call for warming solace after coming in from outdoors. We always appreciate a bracing winter soup on bitter cold days and so I wanted to share it. I don’t think anything could be finer than a bowl of this delightful stick-to-your-ribs soup with perhaps a crisp, crusty bread to chase that grey chill away. Serve a large bowl of this soup and enjoy the cordial taste of healthy vegetables and legumes that offers a welcome restorative comfort. This winter soup is so discerningly hospitable that you could revive yourself with a lunchtime bowl and have it again as a meal starter for supper.
I’m talking about the hearty, wonderful Bean and Vegetable Soup. Let’s make some and replace that bleak grimace with a smile.
Bean and Vegetable Winter Soup serves 4
- 4 medium carrots, sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped finely (celery leaves are very good too)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 cups diced cooked ham or smoked sausage, such as kielbasa (optionally, you could omit and substitute 1 cup of edamame for protein)
- 3 cups of white beans, such as cannellini,
whites or great northern beans (1/2 pound dried beans soaked overnight or two -15 ounce cans thoroughly rinsed and drained) Michigan
- 3 cups (1 pound) small red or white potatoes (not russet or baking) peeled and cut into medium chunks
- 1 quart of stock or broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 cup of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ - 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt plus black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- In a suitably sized pot, fry the first three ingredients in butter (a mirepoix) until tender, stirring constantly
- Add in the garlic and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- If using ham or sausage, add it and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the stock, the beans and the potatoes and stir well
- Add everything else except the parsley, cover and simmer 30 minutes
- Check that beans, potatoes and carrots are tender, cook longer if required
- Check for seasonings, adjust accordingly
When the soup is ready, you may want to put a ladle or so into an electric blender and cream it. Then add back to pot.
Serve in sturdy bowls and sprinkle parsley atop soup. You may also sprinkle on some grated parmesan cheese if you like.
This is a nice gratifying soup to long for on a frosty day.