Sunday, October 4, 2009

Navy Beans Soup with Rice Noodles

Just because beans are so good and because those tiny white perfectly shaped beans are my absolute favorite - a soup made with them is always wonderful.
Hearty and delicious and not to mention easy to make, this is one soup you will love from your first try.
Considering the fact that sometimes the noodles soften too much while sitting in the broth, I decided to use rice (or Pad Thai noodles) noodles.
It always helps to know in advance that you will be making this soup or plan it in advance as you want to let the beans to soak for at least 2 hours before simmering and adding them to your soup.
Same goes for the rice noodles which should be soaked in cold water for 30 to 45 minutes and boiled for 2 minutes afterwords.
So with all this 2 to 3 hours advance planning in mind, let's get to work !

1 large carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
5 medium onions, diced (peel them if you wish)
1/2 parsnip or turnip, diced
1 big handful of rice noodles, torn into 2 inch pieces
seasonings of your choice (I used salt, pepper, oregano, basil, tarragon, sage)
1 cup navy beans
6 cups fresh cold water
some diced parsley or cilantro

Begin with the beans that need to be inspected, rinsed, then let to soak in hot water for at least 2 hours or you can just put them in lukewarm water and let them sit in the fridge overnight.
When ready, drain and transfer to a large pot, add 6 cups water and let simmer on medium-low for 1 to 2 hours, checking on them and tasting one after the 1 hour mark.
After that have cooked, drain and keep in a bowl, covered.

The rice noodles will have to be torn into 1 to 2 inch long pieces and then soaked in cold water for 30 to 45 minutes.

When that time has passed, they will be soft and you can transfer them to your soup pot and boil there for 2 minutes or you can just let them sit in the broth and not boil them whole soup any longer. They will be fine.
Once you have these 2 ingredients ready, the rest of the soup takes no time to make.
Place all the diced ingredients into a large skillet, add the seasonings and let cook for 5 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring quite often.
In the meantime, bring 6 cups water to a boil in a kettle or just a saucepan and have it ready.
Now let's start assembling the soup:
* in your large soup pot place the beans, the sauteed veggies, the noodles and the water a little at a time, being careful as with all the hot ingredients.
* stir a little to combine as you add the ingredients, preferably wit a wooden or plastic spoon or a plastic spatula.
* give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your personal preference and make sure you don't forget to add the parsley or cilantro.
* this is one soup that can be served cold or hot and should always have toast to go with it, or better yet, warm bread, fresh out of the oven !

Enjoy !


  1. What a pretty and healthful soup, Cat!

    Everyone at my house would love this one. Great photos, too. xo ~m

  2. It is actually one of my fav soups. You can always add some turkey to it, or chicken for that matter.
    I think the pictures don't do any soup justice. Maybe it's just me - I am not really sure how to take great soup pictures.