Hearty Italian Butter Bean Soup
Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic.
Delicious meals can be accomplished in so many ways – and this Hearty Italian Butter Bean Soup is a breeze thanks to a few key ingredients and a little “know-how”.
When it comes down to it, every recipe finds itself onto the dinner table by way of a combination of 3 things –
- experience (aka “know-how”)
Depending on the night, getting a meal on the table may require a recipe that takes just a few minutes and that can be accomplished if you’ve bought something pre-made or already have a few time-saving ingredients on hand. But then, there’s those slow days where time’s not an issue and it’s those days I LOVE to make something delicious with an ingredient I couldn’t otherwise.
Dried beans are such a common, humble, wonderful ingredient. But unless you know how to use them, they’ll never make their way to your dinnertime menu! So let me share my favorite tips that are sure to make dried beans the star of the show!
There are a couple of ways I cook with dried beans but the most simple and successful method is a long soak followed by a long boil on the stovetop. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts :
- look for quality dried beans – heirloom varieties are a real treat
- include basic pantry staple ingredients in your bean soup recipe – onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic, dijon mustard and some fresh herbs are magical
- consider adding a subtle heat – a spoonful of salsa or roasted chilies is a great addition to bean soup
- use OLD dried beans – try to procure beans that have been harvested and dried within one season of use
- rush the soak – the longer the soak the shorter and more consistent the cook
- add salt until the bean is cooked through – salt inhibits cooking
These are just a few tips to consider when assembling Hearty Bean Soup like the recipe I’m sharing with you. But beyond these rules, dried beans are one of the best platforms to build a delicious, healthy and cost-friendly meal. Try making it your own by adding ::
- cooked sausage or ground beef
- seasonal herbs
- various stocks or bouillon
- warm spices like cumin, chili powder or hot paprika
This Hearty Italian Butter Bean Soup is a classic bean soup recipe that highlights the wonderful, buttery, large Italian White Butter Bean. Along with some sweet Italian crushed tomatoes, a mirepoix of finely diced vegetables and a couple of key pantry ingredients (dijon mustard and sun-dried tomatoes) make this a richly flavorful meal. Really, the perfect comfort food when you have time to spare, just be sure to follow my do’s and don’ts tips!
Hearty Italian Butter Bean Soup
- 2 c carrots, finely diced
- 2.5 c celery, finely diced
- 2 c onion, finely diced
- 2-3 T cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 T sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 T Italian parsley, minced and divided
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 4 c Napa cabbage, cut into 1″ x 3″ pieces
- 1 lb dried Italian butter beans, soaked overnight up to 24 hours*
- 1 ham bone
- 3.5 c crushed tomatoes
- 3 T hatch-style green chilies
- 24 oz beef stock
- 2 seasoning peppers, if available
- 1-2 bay leaves
- filtered water to cover beans
- salt and pepper (approximately 1T salt and 1t pepper)
Place oil and carrots, celery and onions in a large (7-8 qt) heavy soup pot. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables become tender and translucent.
Add garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and cabbage. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Combine all remaining ingredients with the cooked vegetables in the soup pot. Cover with filtered water, leaving approximately 2″ space from top of the pot.
Boil over medium high flame until beans are tender and cooked through. Keep adding additional water as it evaporates in order to maintain a consistent water level. This step will take 2-3 hours depending on the size and age of the beans.
Once beans are cooked tender, add salt and pepper to taste (approx 1T salt and 1t pepper).
*To soak dried beans, rinse the beans with cold, filtered water and then cover with more cold water. Allow to soak, covered with water up to 24 hours. Once beans have soaked, rinse again with fresh, cold water and the use according to above recipe.
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