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Creamy White Bean Soup with Escarole

This creamy soup is so luscious, you won't even care that it's packed with protein from the white beans. On top of that, cannellini beans are not only sexy and creamy, but have been clinically proven to help lower cholesterol. Good news for your heart as well as your tummy. 

Ingredients

1 cup dried cannelloni beans, soaked 4-6 hours 
1-inch piece kombu or 1 bay leaf
5-6 cups spring or filtered water 
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 sweet onion, finely diced 
sea salt 
1-2 stalks celery, finely diced 
2 parsnips, finely diced 
3 teaspoons sweet white miso 
3 cups escarole, rinsed well and finely diced 

Directions 
Place rinsed beans in a soup pot with kombu underneath. Add water and bring to a boil, uncovered. Boil over high heat for 5 minutes to dispel gas. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer while preparing vegetables. While beans cook, heat oil in a skillet and begin sauteing onion, with a pinch of salt, until limp. Add celery, a pinch of salt and saute 1-2 minutes. Add parsnips, a pinch of salt and saute until shiny with oil. Add a sprinkle of water, cover and steam over medium heat for 10 minutes.

When beans are soft, transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. (A food mill, unfortunately, doesn't work so well here for creaminess.) Return to stove over low heat. Remove a small amount of broth and dissolve miso. Stir in, with sauteed vegetables and escarole and simmer for 3-4 minutes to activate the enzymes in the miso. Serve hot.

Makes 7-8 servings.  

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