By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
I love a bean soup –it’s the duct tape of soups. I encourage you to make a big pot of this “base” recipe and then have fun turning it into something else by adding different flavors! I’ve included 3 of my favorite ways to take it to church.
1. Bean Soup
What you need:
1 cup dry black turtle beans
1 cup dry pinto beans
1 cup dry cannellini beans
1 cup dry anasazi beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cups diced celery (about 1 small bunch)
2 cups diced carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
Coarsely ground black pepper
8 cups vegetable stock
What to do:
Cook Beans: Wash beans and add to a stock pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until beans are tender (about 90 minutes). Rinse, drain and set aside.
Sauté vegetables: In a stock pot or large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Liberally salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
Finish Soup: Add cooked beans and vegetable stock. Cook until carrots are tender and soup is hot.
To Serve: Ladle into bowl.
2. Creamy Indian Bean Soup
What to do: Add 2 teaspoons curry powder and 1 teaspoon to the sautéing vegetables. Squeeze juice from one lime into the pot when soup has finished cooking. Working in batches, blend until smooth or use an immersion blender.
To Serve: Ladle into bowls and serve with yogurt, limes and warm naan.
3. Mediterranean Bean Soup
What to do: Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the sautéing vegetables. Along with the stock, add 1 cup crushed tomatoes simmer. Before serving, stir in 4 cups roughly chopped Swiss chard and cook just until wilted.
To Serve: Ladle into bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Have thick grilled bread for sopping!
4. Southwestern Bean Soup
What to do: To the sautéing vegetables, add 1/2 diced jalapeno and 9 ounces of sliced smoked chorizo.
To Serve: Ladle soup into bowls and top with cilantro, salsa, sliced avocado and queso fresco. Have charred tortillas alongside for dipping and scooping.