Going Into Hibernation Mode: Italian Butter Bean Soup

I realize I’ve been on a little recipe run here lately.  Between being 33 weeks pregnant and the rainy weather, I’ve just wanted to hole myself in my house and do a little nesting.  It didn’t hurt that my husband just did a big farmer’s market run and stocked our house with all kinds of beautiful produce.  To me, January and February are all about hibernating, and I’m taking it to the next level this year.  Might as well rest up while I can, right?

In case you haven’t been paying attention, I’m a big fan of chili, soups and stews, mostly because they are EASY to prepare, but also because they pack a lot of nutritional punch and are so filling during the dreary winter months.  I was flipping through Natural Health Magazine awhile back when I came across a tasty looking Italian Butter Bean Soup, so I just had to try it out and make a few tweaks of my own.  I’m a big fan of cooking anything with a bunch of fresh herbs, and I’ve never cooked anything with butter beans before.  Plus, I’m always looking for ways to sneak in some greens, so I loved that this recipe includes fresh kale leaves.

I think this may have been my first time eating butter beans, and I’m definitely a fan!

Before I give you this recipe, here are a few other soups I’ve shared with you on this blog.

White Bean Chicken Chili

Working Woman Soup

Naughty and Nice Sweet Potato Chili

Chicken Noodle Soup

Italian Butter Bean Soup Ingredients (Serves 8):

1 can of Italian butter beans, rinsed and drained
8 cups vegetable broth
A few fresh thyme sprigs
A few fresh oregano sprigs
A few fresh sage or rosemary leaves
6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3 bay leaves
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup carrots, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 zucchini, quartered and diced
1/3 cup white wine
1 large bunch of kale, ribs removed, torn into ribbons

Preparation Instructions:

  • Place beans in a pot, cover generously with water and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside to soak for 1-2 hours.  Drain beans and rinse well.
  • Combine 6 cups vegetable broth, beans, herbs and leaves in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the beans are cooked all the way through, about 90 minutes.

    Feel free to use whatever combination of herbs and leaves you prefer. Once these bad boys start cooking, your house will smell DIVINE!

  • While the beans are cooking, heat a little oil in a saute pan and add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.  Cook over medium heat until the onion begins to soften, about three minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute or so.  Stir in carrots, peppers and zucchinis, another 1/4 teaspoon of salt and another pinch of black pepper and cook about 10 minutes, adding a little broth as needed to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.  Pour in the wine and cook 3 more minutes

    Time to give your soup some vibrant color!

  • Add the vegetables to the soup pot, along with the remaining broth and the rest of the salt and pepper and cook about 20 minutes.  Add the kale and cook until tender, about 10 more minutes.  Add more seasonings to taste.

    Holy Antioxidants! I know it looks like a lot of kale, but don’t worry, it will cook way down.

  • Remove the herb sprigs and leaves, serve and enjoy!

    One dish wonder!

Even my husband, who is “just not a bean guy” and usually not into vegetarian meals, was a fan of this soup.  Miracles can happen!

I hope you give this nutritious, comfort food a try.  Happy Hibernating!

4 Comments

Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes

4 responses to “Going Into Hibernation Mode: Italian Butter Bean Soup

  1. jess

    this sounds yummy jojo – thanks for sharing!

  2. blkmjkwmn

    Do you have a correction re: the beans? Typically “canned beans” are added at the end….Perhaps you were referring to “dried-beans”?

  3. arin

    I found this recipe in a natural health magazine, but I lost the article. Thanks for posting this; I literally just made it and it’s as good as I remembered it to be. 🙂

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