American White Bean Soup

Any variety of white beans will work in this recipe, such as great northern beans, navy beans, and cannellini beans (white kidney beans). This soup is puréed and requires the use of a blender. If you do not have a blender, it is possible to mash the beans with a potato masher and a wooden spoon, however, this will leave the texture quite chunky.

American White Bean Soup

1 lb. dried white beans, soaked (great northern beans, navy beans, or white kidney beans work well in this soup)
1 smoked ham hock
10 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 large potato, diced
2 white onions, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Add the water, dried white beans, ham hock, and bay leaves into a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until the beans are tender, about 1.5 hours.
  2. Add the potato, onions, celery, and garlic. Remove the bay leaves, and season with salt and white pepper. Simmer for 1 hour, until the white beans are breaking apart. Add more water during cooking if the liquid becomes too thick.
  3. Take the ham hock out of the soup and remove the meat. Dice the meat and discard the bones. Return the meat to the soup.
  4. Remove the soup from heat, and allow the soup to cool to lukewarm. Carefully ladle the white beans into a blender, filling half of the container.
  5. Cover and purée until smooth. Pour the purée into a large bowl. Repeat until all of the soup has been puréed. When finished, pour the soup back into the pot and reheat on medium heat.
  6. Add the fresh parsley, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

Yield: 8 servings

This recipe was adapted from The Bean Book.

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