Saturday, January 12, 2008

Quick Navy Bean Soup

Quick Navy Bean Soup
Healthful and very South Beach Diet friendly

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes or you can let it simmer for longer if you like. It's great the next day too and freezes well.

Serves 6-8

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch Swiss Chard leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped (beet greens or spinach are nice too)
1 tbsp dried Italian herb blend
1 can (28oz/796ml) tomatoes, chopped with liquid
1 bay leaf
1 fresh rosemary stem (with leaves)
1 can (19oz/540ml) navy beans, rinsed and drained (any favorite bean would do)
1 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
1 cup Chicken or vegetable broth (and more as needed to get the consistency you like).

1. In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant (five minutes). Add the Swiss chard and sauté until wilted (just another couple of minutes).

2. Add the herbs, tomatoes, broth and beans and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary stalk. Taste for seasoning and thicken, if you need to (immersion blender is easiest, but taking a cup or two of beans out of the soup and putting them in a food processor or blender will do the trick too). Stop when you like the consistency. It might just be perfect as it is!
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