Marcella Hazan’s White Bean Soup with Garlic and Parsley

Here’s a rustic, Tuscan-style bean soup that’s ready in 10 minutes. This recipe by Marcella Hazan embraces simplicity and balance, hallmarks of her cooking. It’s a perfect choice for a meatless meal any night of the week.  Serve it over a slice of crusty, whole grain bread with a freshly tossed green salad.

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Ingredients: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 6 cups cooked cannellini beans (cooked from dry or canned, rinsed), 1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian), 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, salt and black pepper to taste, thick slices of crusty whole grain bread

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Directions: Put the oil and chopped garlic in a soup pot over medium heat.  Cook garlic for 1-2 minutes (do not burn).  Add drained beans, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Cover and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes. Take about 1/2 cup of beans from the pot and puree them in a blender with a little bit of chicken or vegetable broth until smooth.  Add them back to the beans and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.  Swirl in chopped parsley and turn off the heat.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle over a slice of toasted whole grain bread in an individual soup bowl.

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Note: For more broth, I added another cup of broth at the end of cooking.

Nutrition Note: If there is one food I would like everyone to add to their plate, it would be beans. Beans are rich in plant protein, flavonoids and lignans (which are cancer fighting antioxidants), cholesterol lowering soluble fiber, and not to mention folic acid and potassium. Your goal is to eat 1-1/2 cups of beans per week.

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