Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 1/2 cups dried small white or navy beans, picked over
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 3 medium russet potatoes (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the broth, water, and beans. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are nearly tender, about 40 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes, carrots, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until beans and vegetables are very tender, about 35 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a potato masher or the back of a slotted spoon, mash some of the beans and vegetables to thicken the soup. Ladle into serving bowls and serve hot.
Recipe Notes• Before you soak the dried beans, spread them on a plate or in a baking pan and sort through them, discarding any that are split, broken, or shriveled. Also remove any pebbles you find. Thoroughly rinse the beans under cold running water. The beans are then ready to be soaked.
• There are two basic ways to soak beans. For the slow-soak or cold method, combine the dried beans with cold water to cover by 3 inches in a large pot. Let the beans soak for 6 to 8 hours at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water.
• Alternatively, you can use the ≤b≥warm or quick-soak method≤/b≥. In a large pot, combine the dried beans with cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the beans soak until they have softened and swelled, about 1 hour. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water.