Also – I am a huge fan of both celery & parsley. I think they get treated as unnecessary embellishments but I think they are both full of important flavor. Go heavy with them – whenever you can. If you eat chicken – chicken stock can be used & you can even add some cooked chicken to this – though I don’t think it needs it.
Vegan Herbed White Bean Soup with Lemon-Garlic-Parsley Gremolata
4 cups of vegetable stock (either homemade (below) or a pre-made one – or use bouillon cubes)
2 cups herbed white beans (recipe below) or TWO 15oz canned white beans – herbed as outlined below
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion diced
2-3 stalks celery – chopped
4 scallions – sliced
4 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp black pepper
4 bay leaves
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
fresh lemon zest
1 garlic clove per bowl of soup – pressed through a garlic press or finely minced
Heat the olive oil & saute the onion, celery, scallions and 4 garlic cloves. Once softened – about three minutes – add the broth, peeper, white beans & bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat & let simmer at least 20 minutes – longer if you want the flavors to really meld. Add S&P to taste.
Chop the parsley, zest a lemon. When serving – put soup in each bowl. Press a garlic clove & place one in the center of each bowl. Sprinkle some fresh parsley & top with a generous pinch of lemon zest. Serve!
Herbed White Beans
2 cups dry white beans (small ones – not large ones) – or 2 15oz cans of small white beans
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry oregano
1 1/2 tsp dry parsley
1 1/2 tsp savory
1 1/2 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic – sliced very thinly
4+ sprigs of fresh thyme – stems removed
4+ sprigs of fresh oregano – stems removed
S&P to taste
Put the beans & DRY spices (salt, oregano, savory, parsley, white pepper) in a large pot with enough water to cover them by at least two inches. Bring to a boil. Stir, then cover & lower heat to the lowest setting & simmer for at least two hours – or until the beans are tender.
In a small frying pan, heat the oil. Add the sliced garlic, fresh thyme & oregano. Heat for a few minutes on a medium flame – but stop before the garlic begins to change color. With a wooden spoon, muddle the garlic & herbs into the oil by pressing down on them to release their flavors. Remove from heat & let sit while the beans cook.
When the beans are done, drain them. Put them in a bowl & mix in the herbed olive oil. Set aside.
a few carrots – chopped into big chunks
a few stalks of celery – chopped into big chunks
1/2 large russet potato – chopped into big chunks
1/2 small head cabbage – chopped into big chunks
1 large shallot – chopped into big chunks
2 jalapenos – chopped into big chunks
several sprigs of fresh Thyme
a handful of fresh cilantro
a handful of fresh sage
a handful of fresh oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt & pepper
Fill a large stock pot with water. Add all the other ingredients & bring to a boil. Reduced heat & simmer for 45-60 minutes. Strain (through cheesecloth if you have it – but this isn’t necessary) into another pan & toss all the ingredients away. Voila! You will likely use 4-6 cups or more in this. Freeze the rest in smaller containers for future use.