We all have a safe place; a place to which we like to return from time to time, even if only in our thoughts. For me, it is my Mom’s kitchen, a peaceful yet energetic place where no matter the occasion, from the mundane to the festive, rich flavors, colors and scents would announce of the delights to come.
These last cool winter days, right before the radiant spring and summer in Finland demand a proper acknowledgement. When we need a comforting dish to warm us up or simply to lift our spirits, my go-to recipes are those of my childhood. I grew up on a mostly vegetarian diet, where legumes such as beans and lentils were often the star of the show. Typically, these recipes are not measured or precise, they are shared with generosity, and more as an indication of which ingredients to select rather than prescriptive rules, however, in the spirit of sharing this rich and comforting dish, I found a way to share this version of a bean soup that will warm you up and keep you happy.
Warming Winter beans soup
- 450 gr of dry white beans
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 Tablespoons oil
- 5 fresh tomatoes, grated
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 big carrot, grated or well chopped
- 2.5 – 3 liters water
- 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 cubes vegetarian stock
- 1.5 dl chopped parsley
- Flat teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric,
- Flat teaspoon of ground red paprika,
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: ground Chili
- Soak the beans overnight in water.
- Cook the beans in water until ready to eat and soft enough to pierce with a fork.
- Drain the water and reserve
- In a large soup pan, Fry the onions in oil until golden.
- Add the tomatoes, cover and cook for 6-7 min on low fire.
- Add the garlic, celery and carrots and mix.
- Add the beans.
- cover with 2.5-3 liters water and bring to a boil.
- Lower the fire and add Stock cube, tomato paste, parsley & spices.
- Mix well, cover and cook 30 min on low fire.