Personally, beans and I have a love-hate relationship. I love them, my body hates them. OK, maybe not HATE but they do give me....um....well, you know the old chant, "Beans, beans, a wondrous fruit..." So, I rarely eat them these day. When I do, it's usually as a filler for a soup, like the "Chicken and White Bean Soup" I made a few days ago.
Since we're getting into Fall, prime soup and stew season, I want to share with you my recipe for this yummy soup...but first I must warn you about something: I am not a "cups and teaspoons" type of cook. When I make up new recipes (baking excluded), I toss a little of this and a bit of that into the pot until I get the taste and consistency I want. This can drive some people crazy....so, you have been warned!
Anne's Chicken and White Bean Soup
- 2 cups of uncooked white beans OR 2 cans of cooked white beans
- 3 tablespoons of your fav cooking oil or butter
- onion, diced
- garlic, smashed and chopped fine
- carrots, diced
- celery, diced
- cooked chicken, diced
- about 6 cups of chicken broth (add more or less depending on how liquid-y you like your soup)
- Seasoning - salt, pepper, cumin, paprika.
- Cook the beans, following the instructions on the bag. Drain and put aside. (If you're using canned beans, drain and rinse well before setting aside)
- In a large stew pot, saute the garlic and onion in the oil or butter over medium heat until the onions are almost translucent.
- Add celery and carrots, stir and put top on. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring every once in a while (you don't want them to burn).
- Add cooked chicken - stir.
- Add beans - stir
- Add spices (I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and a sprinkle of paprika, salt and pepper....and then season to taste at the end) - stir.
- Cover and let this combination of veggies, protein, beans, and spices cook for a few minutes - this helps the spices "mature" and cook into the chunky stuff.
- Add the broth, stir, cover, and bring it to a boil.
- Once it's at a boil, reduce heat and let it cook until the carrots are at the consistency you like. I like my soft - they soak in my homemade chicken broth and taste like heaven!
- Serve and enjoy!
- Sometimes I add the beans when they're al-dente and let the soup boil for a while. This not only cooks the beans but concentrates the flavors of the broth. This is not recommended when you're using canned chicken broth - reducing that salt-laden stuff will turn your soup into a "salt lick".
- Make extra - this tastes great the 2nd and 3rd day AND it freezes well. Sometimes, I'll make a big pot of paleo-friendly soup and then freeze the leftovers for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
- This is a pretty versatile recipe and pretty hard to screw up (unless you add too much salt - yuck!). Feel free to experiment - add other vegetables and spices. Add less broth and more vegetables to make a "stew". Mix in a thickener, toss into a baking dish, add a gluten-free bread topping for a yummy "chicken pie" sort of recipe. There's lots of possibilities! Have fun!