Two-Way White Bean Soup
To use dried beans, rinse 1 lb. dried cannellini beans; drain. In a 4- to 5-qt. Dutch oven combine dried beans and 8 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. (Or, place beans in water in Dutch oven. Cover and let soak in a cool place overnight.) Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to Dutch oven. Stir in 8 cups fresh water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Drain beans and use in recipe. To save time, cook dried beans in a pressure cooker. Rinse 1 pound dried cannellini beans; drain. In a 6-qt. electric or stove-top pressure cooker combine beans and 8 cups water. Lock lid in place. Set electric cooker on high pressure to cook 25 minutes. For stove-top cooker, bring up to pressure over medium-high heat according to manufacturer's directions; reduce heat enough to maintain steady (but not excessive) pressure. Cook 25 minutes. Remove from heat. For electric or stove-top cooker, let stand to release pressure naturally, at least 15 minutes. If needed, carefully open steam vent to release any remaining pressure. Open lid carefully. Drain beans and use in recipe.
White Bean Chard Soup
Prepare and freeze Big Batch White Bean Soup as directed. Thaw one portion of soup in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a 4- to 5-qt. Dutch oven. Heat through over medium, stirring occasionally. Stir in 4 cups chopped, stemmed Swiss chard or kale; cook and stir until wilted. Top servings with 1/4 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.Nutrition analysis per serving: 289 calories, 15 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 10 g fiber, 6 g total sugar, 147% Vitamin A, 31% Vitamin C, 1107 mg sodium, 741 mg potassium, 179 mg calcium, 4 mg iron
White Bean Soup with Brussels Sprouts
Prepare and freeze Big Batch White Bean Soup as directed. Thaw one portion of soup in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a 4- to 5-qt. Dutch oven. Heat through over medium, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. In a shallow baking pan toss together 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered; 1 Tbsp. olive oil; 1/2 tsp. salt; and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Roast 15 minutes or until tender and charred, stirring once. In a 10-inch skillet cook 6 slices bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Add 2 sliced leeks to reserved drippings; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Serve soup topped with Brussels sprouts, bacon, leeks, and 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.Nutrition analysis per serving: 497 calories, 24 g protein, 58 g carbohydrate, 21 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 29 mg cholesterol, 15 g fiber, 10 g total sugar, 138% Vitamin A, 111% Vitamin C, 1541 mg sodium, 1167 mg potassium, 333 mg calcium, 6 mg iron