With all of the rainy weather lately a big pot of soup seemed to be in order for my lunches for this week. I had TONS of white beans in the freezer that I had cooked from dried beans and saved away for later use, and from that this soup was born. This isn't the best soup that I've ever cooked, but it is nutritious and yummy, just a little bland compared to what I normally make. It would be excellent with some kielbasa or smoked sausage in it, but then it wouldn't be vegetarian anymore. Or less beans could be used, more broth, and some cheese tortellini for another Italian classic.
White Bean and Spinach Soup
-2 lbs dried white beans, cooked according to package instructions
-4 cups stock or broth (chicken or vegetable)
-2 cups water (if I had used all broth instead of some water it would have more more flavorful, just not as frugal)
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1 teaspoon salt
-fresh ground pepper
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
-1 small bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove moisture
Cook onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until softened. Add beans, broth, water, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and rosemary. Simmer until beans are completely soft and breaking apart slightly. At this stage the soup could be left like this, but I wanted to give it a thicker texture and puree some of the beans. I used a potato masher to mash most of them into chunks directly in the pot. (An alternative would be to take out a few cups of the soup and run it through a blender or food processor and then stir back into the rest of the soup). Stir in spinach, cook 5 more minutes and serve.