French Countryside White Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons French Countryside Seasoning
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked white beans (Cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed if using canned
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and diced carrots, and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and French Countryside seasoning, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
Add the white beans and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, allowing the flavors to meld. If the soup is too thick, you can add more broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
For a smoother soup, you can use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup for a creamy texture.
Feel free to add other vegetables like celery or spinach for more nutrition and flavor.
This soup pairs wonderfully with a crusty piece of French bread or a light salad.
Enjoy your nourishing bowl of French-inspired white bean soup!
Here are some options for adding proteins along with recommended amounts:
Chicken: Add about 1 to 1.5 pounds of diced chicken breast or thigh meat. Brown the chicken pieces in the pot with a little olive oil before adding the onions and carrots. This will add a rich flavor to the soup.
Sausage: Around 1 pound of sausage, either sliced or crumbled, works well. If you use sausage, cook it after the onions and carrots, until it's no longer pink, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Bacon: 6 to 8 slices of bacon, chopped, can be used. Cook the bacon in the pot first until crisp, remove it, and use the bacon fat to sauté the vegetables. Add the bacon back to the soup before serving.
Ham: A cup or two of diced ham can be added without any preliminary cooking. Since ham is already cured and cooked, you can just let it heat through in the soup.
Beef: Use about 1 pound of stewing beef, cut into cubes. Brown the beef cubes in the pot before adding the vegetables. This will add a depth of flavor to the soup.
Fish or Seafood: If you'd like a lighter option, you can add about 1 pound of firm fish or seafood like shrimp or scallops. Add the seafood in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to ensure it doesn't overcook.
Tofu: For a vegetarian protein option, you can add 14 to 16 ounces of firm tofu, either cubed or crumbled. Add it towards the end of the cooking process and let it heat through for about 5-10 minutes.