Borlotti Bean Soup

I love the smooth, creamy texture of Borlotti beans.  Also known as Cranberry beans, they are easy to work with, and an Italian favorite for winter soups.  When using dried beans, an overnight soak followed by a long slow simmer is the secret to success.  For soft, creamy beans that aren’t tough, don’t add salt until the final steps of the preparation.

I make soup frequently over the winter months.  I usually make a small pot, as it’s just the two of us and we don’t want to be eating it for weeks!  This recipe makes about 4 servings, but you can definitely double or triple the recipe for a larger family.

4 servings

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Soak the beans overnight, then drain and rinse.  Add them to a soup pot with cold, unsalted water and 2 bay leaves.  Cover and simmer 45 minutes, drain and rinse.  Then one more time, back into the pot with cold unsalted water, cover and simmer 45 minutes, drain and rinse.

Wipe the pot clean and add a little olive oil.  Cook the carrots, celery, onion and garlic over low heat until vegetables are translucent and release some of their liquid.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cooked beans, sage, thyme, turmeric and one more bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken broth and simmer 1-1/2 hours.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Remove from heat and add the cooked pasta or rice.  Cover and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Notes: ♪♫ If you like a creamier soup, you can partially puree the beans and veggies before adding the pasta.  Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves first!

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