Tomato Bean Soup (for the cold-weather lover in you).

I hear it's going to be a balmy 60 degrees on Christmas. I'm not the biggest fan of cold weather, but I like sweaters in December and I certainly expect a chill in the air during the holidays. It just doesn't feel right otherwise.

But whatever the forecast next week, today was cold. Cold enough. Just right for soup.

I make a lot of soup in the fall/winter, and they are usually the pureed variety because I can't get enough of that immersion blender. Plus I just love the heartiness of a thick soup. But this one is an old favorite, and a rival for sure. (In fact, this one is my husband's favorite).

It does have a time factor in that you have to soak beans overnight. But how hard is that? Beans in pot, cover with water, drain and rinse the next day. Boom. 

Throw in some chopped veggies, spice it up a little, add Grandma's canned tomato puree (or whatever kind you have in your pantry), and you've got a huge pot of comfort soup for dinner. And lunch the next day. And leftovers for your freezer. 

Seriously, this soup is delish.

NOTES ON THE SOUP:

  • Use organic ingredients whenever possible. (This recipe includes celery, which is on the Dirty Dozen list). 
  • If using canned/jarred tomatoes, I recommend organic brands that jar in glass. The acidity of the tomatoes leeches the toxic BPA-lining in cans. 
  • I soak my beans (and grains!) with a strip of kombu. Kombu is a seaweed vegetable that is full of minerals and an excellent addition to your pantry. You can buy it at any Whole Foods or health food store. (Even some grocery stores carry it now). It is full of iodine so if you have a hyperthyroid condition, talk to your doctor. If not, I recommend reaping the benefits of this mineral-rich food. You won't taste anything and it makes grains and legumes more digestible - that's less gas and bloating for you. Thank you, seaweed. You can read more about it here.
  • You can use any other vegetables you like in this soup. Chopped peppers would be good too. 
  • For a non-vegetarian variety, you can add a ham hock (broken record here but for ALL meat I have to recommend well-sourced) or even some sausage for more depth of flavor.
  • The longer this soup simmers, the better it gets. It's PERFECT for a cold wintry weekend day when you're all bundled in the house with the family with nowhere to be. (Don't you LOVE those days?)