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Northern Bean and Pesto Soup

If you're looking for a bland bean soup, this is not one. Rich layers of flavors and textures, this hearty soup is one of my favorites!

Total Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 90 minutes

Northern Bean and Pesto Soup

Chop 2 medium or 1 large yellow onion, medium dice. 

Sauté in heavy large sauce pan with 1/4 cup olive oil over medium high heat, stirring well.

After onions have begun to turn translucent, lower heat to medium. 

Add in:

2 teaspoons thyme 

2 teaspoons salt 

1 teaspoon white pepper

2 teaspoons oregano 

4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

Dash ground cayenne 

1 tablespoon white sugar 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

Sauté well so herbs and spices cook down with the onions. (I find flavor of seasonings are better released adding at this stage than adding in later.)

Stir well, allowing mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. 

Deglaze pan with 1/3 cup dry white wine and 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock. 

Cook, stirring often another 5 minutes. 

Add 8 cups water (64 ounces) 

Stir well.

Raise heat to medium high and let come to low simmer, then reduce heat to medium and add 6 cups northern beans that were water soaked overnight. 

Cover, lowering heat slightly, and let low simmer, occasionally removing cover to stir. 

If soup is rapidly boiling, reduce heat.

Note: Soup will seem too watery, but it will thicken during cook time.

Cook for 1 hour, stirring often, over medium-high simmer, then remove lid. 

Cook additional 30 minutes, continuing to stir often, until beans are fork tender. 

Lower heat if needed to bring soup bsck to a low simmer. 

Remove 1 cup of the beans, and smash them, then add back into soup. 

Also, you can remove from heat and use immersion blender to blend to your desired consistency, leaving as many whole beans as desired. That’s what I do. A heat resistant hand immersion blender is a must-have in your kitchen.

Stir well. 

Add in 1/3 cup half and half (or equivalent dairy substitute)

And 1 heaping teaspoon of pesto and half a 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes that have been well drained and rinsed. You can instead add fresh tomatoes, although in the winter season, it may be difficult to find quality tomatoes.

Stir until thoroughly combined. 

Adjust for salt, heat and acidity. 

Serve, garnishing with optionals such as sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon pesto drizzle, diced tomatoes, fried shallot rings, or other toppings of your preference. 

Servings: 6 large or 8 medium bowls. 

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