Dried beans are an excellent source of potassium. And cannellini beans top the list. Check out what Facty.com says,
“White beans are not only one of the richest sources of potassium, but they also provide a healthy amount of dietary fiber. A single one-cup serving of cooked white beans, also known as cannellini beans, contains over 1000 mg of potassium. This is one of the highest concentrations available in a single food. The high fiber content also helps those with metabolic syndrome, as a diet rich in fiber prevents blood sugar spikes and dips that can have poor effects on your health. To add white beans to your diet, you may simply enjoy them simmered with a bit of salt and pepper, or mixed with other chopped vegetables for a cold compound salad or warm side dish. You can mash white beans into a dip, similar to hummus – a great alternative to a more fattening dip.”
So even though this is technically a spring month, parts of the country and world for that matter are experiencing some weather where a bowl of soup would be welcome. I actually consider this a spring soup, not heavy like a chili or stew, even though by some this is thought to be a Tuscan stew. I would say the determining factor, at least for me, is if you put bread cubes in the soup (typical of Tuscan soups and stews) or instead served the soup over a slice of bread in the soup bowl. Or don’t use bread in the soup at all – just serve it on the side.
Not only is this soup filled with quality ingredients and health benefits, it is easy on your wallet. Here is the link to an extensive article that compares four types of dry beans to canned beans. Overall, as you might guess, it is cheaper to buy the dry beans and put in a little time soaking and cooking them. CLICK HERE for the article.
This recipe yields about 12 cups of soup so you have plenty to share or freeze for a frosty spring day or evening. Great soup for change of seasons when the weather changes by the hour. 🙂
Garlic sage cheesecloth pouch
Tomatoes from last year’s harvest to add to beans, herbs, and turkey stock.
Fresh spinach (or add kale if you prefer).
Soup cooking away in the crockpot.
Ready to eat. Oh wait! We need to add a little cheese.
- 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 head garlic, cut off top and bottom, loose paper skin discarded
- 1 – 2 fresh sage leaves
- 4 cups turkey broth (homemade) or substitute chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
- 28-32 ounces of fresh or frozen tomatoes, chunked (or one 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, undrained)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, chopped (about 1 large)
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 1 large stalk)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, scraped off stem (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Small parmesan cheese rind
- 4 cups chopped spinach
- Gently boil dry beans in a large Dutch oven with enough water to cover them for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for one hour. Drain and set aside. Beans will get larger, almost double in size and turn a tannish color.
- In a piece of cheesecloth lay the head of garlic (top and bottom sliced off) and the sage inside and tie up the ends.
- In the crockpot add in the garlic sage herb packet, beans, broth, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drop in the cheese rind to ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours. Make sure beans are tender but not mushy.
- Remove the garlic-sage herb packet and slightly mash some of the beans with a potato masher to thicken the soup.
- In a large frypan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and salt. Sauté until onion is tender and translucent.
- Add these vegetables to soup mixture, along with spinach and continue cooking for 1 more hour on high heat. Soup will thicken slightly.
- Serve immediately with bread or cool soup and serve the next day. Freezes well.
- Italian bread - toasted, rubbed with a clove of garlic and added to the soup in chunks or served on the side.
- Calories 304: Total Fat 11.8g Saturated Fat 1.7g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 549mg
- Total Carbohydrate 41.2g Dietary Fiber 15g Total Sugars 13.8g Protein 14.2g
- Potassium 1653mg