Great Northern Bean SoupA nice hot bowl of bean soup will warm you on a cold Winter’s eve.  It is low in calories (approximately 160/serving), low in cholesterol,has a low glycemic load, is high in dietary fiber and is strongly anti-inflammatory.

Dried beans have enzymes, that prevent our bodies from digesting the proteins in them.  Soaking and rinsing the beans, helps to release and wash away these enzymes.  So, it is important to rinse, soak and rinse the beans again, before cooking them. This recipe is delicious with Great Northern Beans, but will be just as yummy using other varieties of dried beans.

4 cups white beans (Great Northern)
2 quarts filtered water
2 large onions, diced + 1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp minced Garlic
1/2 cup Bragg’s Aminos (similar to Soy Sauce – made with non-GMO fermented soybeans)
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp dried Sage
1 Tbsp dried Thyme
6 leaves Swiss Chard
6 Leaves Broccoli Greens (from our garden, but you could use Collard Greens)
1 cup grated carrot (2 medium to large carrots)
1.  Rinse and soak white beans overnight (at least 8 hours) in water – I usually put the beans in a bowl big enough, that I can put about 3-4 inches of water above the beans. They expand quite a bit.
2.  Rinse the beans again, before cooking.
3.  Put beans in crock pot or large stainless steel pot, on the stove, with 2 quarts of filtered water.  Turn heat to high.
4.  Put coconut oil into a stainless steel pan, add diced onions and 1 Tbsp water. Stir and cover. Simmer over medium low heat, for approximately 3-4 minutes, until onions are slightly translucent. Remove cover, raise heat to medium, and stir onions, until they are slightly golden around the edges.
5.  Add garlic and stir, over heat, for 30-60 seconds, until just heated through (cooking garlic too long makes it bitter).
6.  Add Bragg’s Aminos, carrots and spices. Stir to combine all ingredients.
7.  Cut Swiss Chard and Broccoli (or Collard Greens) lengthwise and then crosswise, into 1/2 in squares, chopping stems so they look like chopped celery.  Add to soup and stir.
8.  Cook soup until beans are totally soft.
This batch gave us two servings, and we still had 10 cups in jars, for later.  We were late for a meeting, the other night, and didn’t have time to heat our soup, so shared a pint jar – cold.  It was still yummy! :D
Note:  I do not use olive oil to fry my onions, because heating, hot enough to brown the onions, causes it to oxidize. I prefer to use coconut oil, for my frying, because it has a higher oxidation temperature, and is not damaged when frying onions and other foods.
Also interesting to note:  We have a “FoodSaver” vacuum sealing unit, for preserving food.  We bought a large jar attachment [with a tube going to the vacuum unit], that can be put on an open jar, to vacuum the air out.  We decided to try using it on the beans, in a gallon jar. We put water and beans in the jar with the vacuum top, on the jar, vacuumed the air out, and left it on the counter for about 1-1/2 hours.  We were amazed at how well the beans plumped up after they had been in a vacuum for a while.  We didn’t think of it, until they had been soaking for about 4 hours, so I don’t know how long it would take for them to rehydrate if we had done it from the beginning.