Recipe: Garlicky White Bean Soup

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The basis for this recipe was one that appeared in a cookbook near and dear to my heart, Vegan with a Vengeance. I’ve tweaked it and adapted for batch cooking over the years, and it’s become a favorite that I come back to. Oddly, I’m always nervous about serving it to others (“will they think this is just a big bowl of bean puree?”), but it’s a consistent hit, especially for guests who have just arrived after a long day of travel.

 
The recipe here is written specifically with conservation of freezer space in mind: liquid is deliberately kept to a minimum, so the soup will initially be very thick, to the point of semi-solidity. After thawing, add an additional 1/3 c. of broth to each 2/3 c. of soup.
 
Garlicky White Bean Soup (with variations)
makes about 12 servings
 
Ingredients
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsley chopped
4 c. broth (vegetable or chicken work best)
8 c. cooked white beans (I usually use cannellini)
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
additional salt and pepper to taste
2 heads of garlic
 
Method
 
1. Place garlic in a 350F oven and set the timer for 20 minutes
 
2. While the garlic is roasting, heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute onions at medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until translucent and very slightly browned.
 
3. Add the broth, beans, sage, nutritional yeast, and salt to the pot, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and leave covered while you get back to the garlic.
 
4. When the 20 minutes are up, remove garlic from the oven and turn off the heat under the soup. Allow a few minutes for cooling, then squeeze the roasted garlic out from each clove and add it to the soup.
 
5. Using a food processor or an immersion blender, puree the soup. Allow to cool to room temperature before freezing. If serving immediately, add an additional 4 cups of broth.
 

Some variations:
While the soup is great on it’s own, it also makes a great base for some minor variations, which make it great for batch cooking as you can make little tweaks to avoid the problem of eating the same thing over and over again. One of my favorites is to add a big handful of arugula or other greens to a bowl of hot soup:
 
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The result is bowl full of beautiful green accents:
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Some other ideas:
-Shred a bit of zucchini into the bowl
-add a pinch of cayenne pepper
-garnish with chopped parsley or scallions

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