White beans sometimes carry the connotation of being boring. I prefer to view them as a delicious, blank culinary canvas, though. For one, I think their creamy texture is nothing short of addictive; it adds a velvety mouth-feel to any dish, without adding any fat. Combine that with the fact that they’re a great source of inexpensive protein and they’re almost impossible to cook wrong. This herbed white bean soup recipe is punched up with classic Provencal spices to delicious effect.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
- 1 pound dried white beans, sorted and rinsed (Navy, great northern, canellini)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chopped country ham
- 3/4 cup chopped carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 gloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 1/4 teaspoons rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon (pinch) dried basil
- 2 small golden potatoes, cooked and mashed (about 2/3 cup)
Cover the beans with 1 inch of water and soak them overnight, or bring them to a rapid boil, cover and set aside for 1 hour.
Drain the beans, place them in a large saucepan, and add the chicken stock, water, ham, carrots, onions, and seasonings to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat and allow the soup to cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Add the mashed potatoes and simmer the soup for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot.
This herbed white bean soup makes 8 to 10 servings.