Winter can be beautiful with snow, and ice skating, and nights cuddled up in front of the fire. It is a time when harvest is over except for some lingering winter crops and it is time to nourish the body with warming foods. Soups are wonderful this time of year to get a lot of nourishing ingredients into you at once. The immune system loves the boost a healthy soup brings to it after a full day of fighting off germs and the cold. Bone broths are especially nourishing and are full of mineral like calcium that is crucial to health. I realize that some of the terminology that I use may not be familiar to everyone. I will be blogging about how to make all of the basic essentials in future posts but wanted to share a recipe that my family loves in the winter.
I took the recipe from the back of the bag of Trader Joe’s 17 Bean & Barley Soup and modified it. This recipe will work with any and every combination of 1 lb. of beans. Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
15 Bean & Barley Soup
1 lb. of beans ( I used Trader Joe’s 17 Bean & Barley Soup)
64 oz of vegetable or chicken stock
1 large onion – chopped
4 stalks of celery – chopped
4 carrots – chopped
1 green or red bell pepper – chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
4 cloves garlic – crushed or chopped
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (added after cooking has ended)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 can/jar of chopped tomatoes (Muir Glen and Trader Joe’s use BPA-Free cans)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Ghee, butter, lard, tallow, or coconut oil to sauté vegetables.
Optional addition – I sometimes add a container of Trader Joe’s organic red pepper and tomato soup to the pot. It add a richer flavor to it.
Soak beans overnight covered in water. I soak mine for up to three days, draining and rinsing each day.
Rinse, drain, and set aside until needed.
Sauté vegetables in fat of choice until soft. Add basil.
Add broth, other seasonings, tomatoes, and beans. Simmer from 1 hour to all day if desired. This can also be made in a crock pot.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I serve it with a little freshly grated cheese and with bread. The kids love it as much as we do!