Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Savory Butter Bean Soup

It's November 13th and when I woke up this morning, it was 7 degrees with a below zero windchill.  PEOPLE - THIS IS NOT OK!  Even for sturdy Minnesotans, this is WAY TOO EARLY for winter to be digging in its heels.  I keep forgetting we haven't had Thanksgiving yet.  There is snow on the ground and I am heading straight for Christmas. The only problem is, my mums are permanently frozen in their pots.  Apparently, I missed the one day window between summer and frozen.

In addition, I had to go to the dentist today.  For some, this is no big deal.  For me, this is a HUGE deal.    These are my three top fears in order: SNAKES, DENTISTS, HEIGHTS. Or maybe, DENTISTS, SNAKES, HEIGHTS.  I'm still deciding.

So 5 hours after my dentist appointment, the left side of my face is still numb and I'm trying to find my happy place. Here it is. You guys. You guys and soup.  After two years of blog silence, I realized that rambling on my blog and cooking this amazingly comforting soup might be what it takes to come back from my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. So here I am,  reposting this amazing, comforting soup that I just made for dinner. Between the heat of the red pepper flakes, the slight sweet of the brown sugar, acidity of the tomatoes and the comforting texture of the butter beans, your family will never even notice that they've just eaten a bowl full of vegetables. I used a quart of homemade turkey stock this time (you know, because it's almost Thanksgiving again and I'm trying to make room in the freezer) and it brought the flavor depth to a whole new level.

Now, a word about butter beans. If you've never had them before A) You are obviously not from the South and B) Prepare to fall in love.  Butter beans are big and meaty and smooth and creamy and melt-in-your-mouth buttery all in one bite.  Their size and texture make them an instant comfort food component, even if you are not a fan of other, ordinary beans.

Start the butter bean soup with your basic mirepoix. (That's a french word for carrots, celery and onion.) I like to say it out loud because it makes me feel fancy.  For this soup, I used 2 cups of each. Saute' the veggies in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until softened.

When the mirepoix has softened, add 1/4 cup of flour and stir.  The flour, combined with the oil will create a light rue which will give the broth just a little bit of body.

Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes. It is really that easy.

The result is soup for the body and the soul - perfect for a cold, January November day.

Butter Bean Soup
By Rachel @ Simple Girl

2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups sweet yellow onions, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
2 15-ounce cans butter beans, drained
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes plus a pinch of red pepper flakes
or Rotel tomatoes with Green Chiles (mild)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt

Soften carrots, celery and onions in olive oil over medium low heat.  When softened, mix in flour until in forms a paste. Slowly add stock, mixing so no lumps form.  Add beans, tomatoes, sugar and basil.  Adjust salt to taste.

Simmer for 10 minutes.  If the leftover soup gets to thick, add more stock.


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