Bean Soup

Here's a nice, easy bean soup for a cold winter day.  You may use whatever vegetables you like and make it your own.  I don't usually put potatoes in this soup as I find the beans and potatoes too starchy for my taste but Don would like the potatoes, but as I'm making the soup, I win, ha, ha.  

Make sure you pick over the beans and wash them well as they are prone to small stones and dirt.  A good rinsing usually takes care of any dirt left on the beans and a good eye will easily spot a small stone.  You will, for sure, find any bits of stone grinding between your teeth if you skip this process.  Happily in this day and age, beans are usually well washed and picked over at the bean packing place so it won't take long to sort through and rinse.

I like this soup with big, thick slices of homemade bread well spread with butter.  But alas it is not long since Christmas and I'll have to make do with a light scraping of butter over a thinner slice of bread.  

This makes a large pot of soup but as with most vegetable soups this one will taste even better the next day so you won't mind left-overs.  Of course, if you don't put potatoes in your soup, you can always freeze individual portions ready to take to work for a great hot lunch. 

Bean Soup
1 pound package (454 g) white beans
3 litres water (12 cups)
1 large onion, diced
2 or 3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped or 1–2  cups canned tomatoes, drained
1 small turnip, peeled and cubed
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 chicken flavoured bouillon cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Sort and rinse beans.  Add the water and bring to a boil in a large soup pot.  Boil for about half and hour.  Drain off water and add the same amount of fresh water.  Cook beans until soft.  This may take another hour.  Add bouillon, salt and pepper and diced vegetables. Bring soup back to a boil; turn heat down and simmer slowly, about 30 -40 minutes, until turnip and carrots are cooked.  Add extra water if needed.  Adjust seasonings. Makes 6-8 dinner servings.

May add any vegetable as desired.

 I used Great Northern Beans in the soup.  900 grams is about 2 pounds so I used half a package.

 The beans have been sorted and picked over for small stones and shriveled or rotten looking beans.

Wash the beans well and cook in fresh water until soft.  They should be as soft as you want to eat them as they won't get any softer once the tomatoes and salt are added.

Here's a nifty trick to cut canned tomatoes.  Use a pair of clean kitchen scissors to snip the tomatoes.  You can do this right in the can if using the juice.

 Here are the vegetables ready for the soup pot.

By the time the beans have become soft you will probably need to add an extra amount of water to bring the liquid up to the original amount when you started boiling the beans.  Add the vegetables and seasonings and bring to a boil.

Once the vegetables have come to a boil, lower the temperature and simmer until everything is cooked to your liking.

 Because I love my husband I cooked a few potatoes and added them to his bowl. 

 Ready to eat. 


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