Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Navy Bean and Tomato Soup

     A Warm Tasty Healthy Soup!
     I posted a nice old fashioned Navy Bean Soup recipe a few years ago that ended up being quite popular.  It seemed like every time that the weather got cold, the Navy Bean Soup moved to the top of the list of most viewed posts.  The reason why is because a hearty bean soup is what the body really needs when the thermometer hovers around the zero mark.  
     Navy Bean Soup is usually made with ham broth and small bits of ham.  In this modern age, vegetarian versions of classic recipes are in high demand.  Today's Navy bean and Tomato soup has no ham or ham broth in the recipe.  The only animal fat in the recipe is a small amount of butter, which is okay for dairy tolerant vegetarians.  
     Vegetarian style Navy Bean and Tomato Soup is hearty enough to satisfy guests on a chilly day and the flavors are comforting.   It is important to make a good rich vegetable broth, so this soup tastes hearty and rich.  Tomatoes add a nice color and plenty of Vitamin C, which is beneficial in cold weather.
     Navy Bean and Tomato Soup also is a nice summertime recipe.  This soup is hearty, yet light enough on the tummy, to not weigh a person down on a hot day.  Adding a few drops of hot sauce increases the appeal in warm weather.

     Navy Bean and Tomato Soup:  
     This recipe yields about 5 cups.  (Two large bowls of soup!)
     Step 1:  Soak 1 1/3 cups of dried navy beans in water overnight in a refrigerator.
     Place the navy beans in a strainer and rinse them thoroughly with cold running water.
     Discard any discolored beans or stones.
     Step 2:  Place the navy beans in a wide sauce pot.
     Add 3 cups of vegetable broth.
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Add tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Step 3:  Place the pot over medium high heat.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Simmer till the beans start to become tender.
     *If necessary, add water occasionally to keep the beans covered with broth.
     Step 5:  Place 1 1/3 cups of Italian canned whole plum tomatoes and a portion of their own juices in a mixing bowl.
     Crush the tomatoes by hand into small pieces.
     Add the hand crushed tomatoes to the pot.
     Step 6:  Add 1/4 cup of diced onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of of diced carrot.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced celery.
     Step 7:  Add 1 small bay leaf.
     Add 2 pinches of thyme.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground sage.
     Step 8:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of Hungarian Paprika.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 9:  Keep the lid off of the pot.
     Gently simmer till the beans and vegetables are very tender.  Allow the volume of the soup to reduce to about 5 cups.
     *Add water if the broth reduces too much.  
     Step 10:  Use a potato masher to mash about 1/2 of the beans in the pot.
     Simmer till the mashed beans thicken the broth.
     *The soup broth should now be a thin sauce consistency.  Add water if it is too thick.  Simmer and reduce if the broth is too thin.
     Keep the soup warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.  
     Step 11:  Remove the bay leaf.
     Ladle a portion of soup into a soup bowl.
     Garnish the soup with 1/2 tablespoon of thin bias sliced green onion.

     Delicious, warm and friendly!  Navy beans have a nice light flavor that is tasty with tomatoes.  The mirepoix vegetables and the herbs add aromatic flavors.

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