I love bean soup in any variety, but this is without a doubt my all time favorite. This delicious and classic recipe makes a hearty portion for sharing with friends or freezing and is guaranteed to satisfy. Invite your friends over, feed them soup. Spread love.
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: About 2 hours
Serves 8 to 12 (about 3 quarts)
1 pound dried white beans, picked over and soaked overnight in 4 quarts of water, then rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider or rice wine vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, divided
4 bay leaves, divided
6 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup white wine
2 cups tomato sauce (unseasoned) or diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale, cleaned and ripped into small pieces, ribs removed
1 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place beans in large stockpot and cover with cold water by about 2 inches.
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your beans (refer to the package directions). Pour into colander to drain, then return beans to stockpot. Add enough stock to cover, along with the remaining bay leaves, thyme, and celery seed, and return to a simmer.Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet and sauté the onion, carrots, garlic, and celery over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the mirepoix
of vegetables to the stockpot. Deglaze the skillet with white wine, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until wine reduces by half, about 8 minutes; add to the stockpot along with tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add kale and cook another 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon each vinegar and sugar. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper to taste.Puree a portion of the soup or smash beans with a large spoon to thicken the soup, or leave it brothy if you prefer.