This delicious peasant soup is a traditional defense against colds and flu. It combines the classic immune-boosting benefits of garlic with high-protein beans and savory rosemary.
Simple and inexpensive to make, Garlicky White Bean Soup is a healthful Mediterranean classic.
1 cup dried white navy beans
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 big cloves garlic, or more to your taste, minced
1 large ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 or 4 vegetable bouillon cubes, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Rinse the beans and cover them with water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute, then turn off heat, cover, and allow to soak for 1 hour.
2. Drain beans and put back in soup pot with 5 1/2 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, partly covered, for about an hour, until the beans are tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over low heat in another soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the tomato and increase heat to medium, stewing vegetables for an additional 10 minutes or so.
4. Pour beans and water into this onion-garlic-tomato mixture and add the bouillon cubes. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Using a slotted spoon, remove about 1 cup of the beans and process in a blender or food processor with a little of the broth until smooth. Return this puree to the soup, stirring to combine. Simmer 10 minutes, partly covered, and then serve.
Inspired by Soup Makes the Meal, by Ken Haedrich (Harvard Common Press, 2001).