WHITE BEAN SOUP

This soup has a rich, satisfying taste while it calls for such simple ingredients.  We like to use rice beans for this soup which are the size of orzo pasta. They are usually obtained from specialty catalogues but don’t let this stop you. This is a great soup to eat all the time especially in the warmer months, and any small white bean will do.

1 lb. White bean, or if unavailable use navy beans
1 Very large yellow onion, finely chopped
7 Stalks celery, finely chopped
1 Large strip kombu, broken in half if necessary
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt

Sort, rinse and soak the beans overnight. Throw away the soaking water, then cook on low with fresh water 2 inches above level of the beans for about two hours or until tender.  Check to make sure the water doesn’t boil out, and if it does put the same amount in again.  Kombu should cook with the beans the entire time; It will eventually be absorbed by the broth.

In an enamel pot, sauté the finely chopped celery and onion in the olive oil with several pinches of sea salt over a low flame until they are very soft.  Cook for 20 minutes or so.  Leave in pot and set aside until beans are done.

When the beans are done, add the entire pot, broth and all to the celery/onion mixture, along with at least 4-6 fresh cups of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer fon low or 20 minutes with the lid ajar.  Add another teaspoon of salt or to taste.

Serve with nori rolls and a salad for a hearty Spring meal.

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