Vegetarian Bean Soup

I usually make bean soup when there's a leftover ham bone around. But as it was Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent, I decided to make a fresh meatless version. Save leftover Parmesan cheese rinds (the real stuff) to steep in soups. Here it imparts a rich flavor to the bean soup which improves the longer it sits in the soup. It also adds lots of umami.
By / Photography By Hope Anderson | February 21, 2016

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried white beans, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 3-inch piece parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

Preparation

1. Soak beans overnight, or using the quick soak method, by bringing the beans to a boil for a minute, removing from heat, covering and setting aside for an hour. 

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and red bell pepper  and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans and thyme, stir well. Add vegetable broth or water, parmesan cheese rind, and bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Add spinach, tomatoes, and heat thorougly. Yield: 14 cups. 

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried white beans, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 3-inch piece parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
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