With cool Fall weather, soup is a welcome meal. This simple recipe for Creamy White Bean and Veggie Soup is nourishing and yummy. The cream adds richness to this soup, making for a satisfying meal.
Like other legumes and grains, white navy beans contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient because it can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Soaking beans in water with a pinch of baking soda helps to neutralize the phytic acid, thereby making them more nutritious.
Creamy White Bean and Veggie Stew (grain-free)
Total Preparation Time (not including soaking the beans): 2 hours
Inactive Time: 70 minutes
1 pound dried white navy beans
pinch of baking soda
5 Tb butter, preferably the nutrient-dense yellow kind
2 med-large white or yellow onions, chopped
6 celery stalks, chopped
4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups filtered water (or more broth if using storebought broth)
Parmesan cheese rind
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (or substitute 1/8 tsp dried rosemary)
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or substitute a pinch of dried thyme)
1 large Garnet sweet potato
2 Swiss chard leaves (or substitute a couple handfuls of baby spinach)
1/3 cup of heavy cream
Celtic sea salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Put the beans in a bowl, cover with plenty of filtered water, and stir in a pinch of baking soda. Allow the beans to soak for 8-18 hours.
Drain and rinse the beans well.
About 2 hours before dinnertime, chop the onion and celery.
Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, and 1/2 tsp salt. Saute for about 10 minutes, allowing the onion and celery to take on a bit of browned caramelized color.
Mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the pot and saute for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
Add the drained beans, bay leaf, Parmesan rind, broth, water, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1&1/2 Tb salt (or less if using salted broth). Stir it all together.
Bring the beans to a low boil. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Allow to simmer for about 75 minutes, until the beans seem nearly done.
In the meantime, peel and chop the carrots. Prepare the rosemary and thyme.
When the beans have simmered for about 75 minutes, add the carrots, rosemary, and thyme to the pot. Put the lid back on and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Peel and chop the sweet potato. Because sweet potatoes quickly oxidize (turn brown), make sure to prepare the sweet potato right before it goes into the pot. Add the sweet potato to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn up the heat enough that the stew will simmer uncovered.
In the meantime, cut the Swiss chard leaves off their stalks. Discard the stalks. Mince the leaves.
Add the heavy cream and chard leaves to the pot. Stir to combine. Simmer for about 7 minutes.
Taste the soup and add salt and/or pepper as desired.
Turn off heat. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle each bowl of stew with grated Parmesan cheese. Bread or crackers make a nice accompaniment to this soup.
What is your favorite Fall recipe?
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