Rustic White Bean Soup

8 Feb

I’m pleased to share this hearty bowl of goodness with you.

Time: 30min prep, 3hr cook              Serves: 6+


  • 1 pound (2 cups) dry white beans – I used Great Northern
  • 2 tsp thyme (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp sage (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp oregano (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp basil (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp rosemary (dried) broken up, divided
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp bacon grease/olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed, halved, and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper sauteing veggies and added same amount to soup pot)
  • 5 cups chicken stock/water + bouillon
  • 1/4 cup cooked crumbled bacon (optional)
  • shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • *Note: If you choose to use canned beans, you’ll need 3 15 oz cans, drained and rinsed. In this case, your cook time will be lessened greatly and you’ll skip the first series of directions. I suggest using dry b/c they absorb more flavor as they cook and are less expensive.
  • *Note: This can easily be adapted into a vegetarian recipe by substituting the chicken stock with vegetable stock and opting for olive oil. If you still want to achieve smoky flavor, add a few drops of liquid smoke to mixture (start with a bit, you can always add more).

How to make it

  • Soak beans overnight in 3 quarts of water. Drain. Rinse and pick through, removing any stones, discolored or shriveled beans.
  • Place beans in a medium stock pot and cover with the 2 quarts fresh cold water. Add 1 quart of water plus 1 tsp each: thyme, sage, oregano, basil, and rosemary and all bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; reduce heat to simmer, cover with vented lid, and cook for 2 hours or until beans are tender, adding more water as needed.
  • Once beans are cooked to desired tenderness, heat bacon grease or oil in a large skillet. Add vegetables, season with salt & pepper, and saute for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add stock and vegetables to beans in stock pot. Season with remaining thyme, sage, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Stir in or top with any or all of optional ingredients to serve.
  • *Note: Serves 6 about 1 1/2 cup entree portions or 10 1 cup appetizer portions.

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