Great Northern beans, northern beans, white beans…whatever the name, they are one of my favorite beans. Northern beans, plump, smooth, and kidney shaped are a good source of fiber, iron, potassium, and protein. They can be purchased dried or canned.
Raised in a large family, beans were a regular part of the menu because they are filling, inexpensive and easy to cook for a large group. Soup is a comfort food. I remember growing up, when I was sick, Momma would give me bean juice, or as the old folks say, pot liquor. It makes sense now. She cooked her beans with ham hocks and simmered them for hours. The long simmering released the good stuff from the bones and beans and into the pot liquor. It was nutritious and it just felt good going down.
These were cooked from dry beans and made two quarts of soup. Refer to the black-eyed pea recipe in Always Delicious for instructions. White beans are cooked the same way. Soup is also a good way to use leftover beans, add vegetables to the diet and they freeze well.
White Bean Soup
- 4.5 Cups cooked northern beans
- 3 Cups pot liquor or broth
- 1 Pound ground turkey
- 1/4 Cup onion
- 1/8 Cup bell pepper
- 1/8 Cup celery
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1/2 Teaspoon each of marjoram, tarragon and thyme
- 1/4 Teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- Sauté chopped vegetables in your choice of healthy oil until they begin to soften.
- Add ground turkey, herbs, spices and salt and cook until browned.
- Puree one cup of beans in one cup of pot liquor and add to the balance of beans and pot liquor into a pot.
- Add the cooked turkey to the beans and pot liquor.
- Salt to taste.
- Simmer for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.
Variations – Add or substitute bacon, ham, sausage or other meat of choice. Increase pot liquor, meat and vegetables as you like. Want it chunky, cut vegetables in chunks. Prefer it spicy, add more red pepper flakes. Use any combination of herbs and spices, these are some of my favorites.
This will be delicious served with sour dough grilled cheese, fried cornbread, or homemade sourdough croutons. Umm, umm good. Campbell Soup ain’t got nothing on this.
And always remember to add a good measure of prayer and do it as unto the Lord.
Harriet Noel Jones