April 05, 2019
I make dinner just about every night, and I have yet to find a recipe that I could actually eat every day, until this soup. It's at once light and flavorful - an addictive combination. It also tastes better after a day or so in the fridge as the beans continue to break down and absorb flavor.
First, tips on saving time & boosting flavor in your pressure cooker and beyond:
Use dried beans. They are cheaper, more nutritious, and absorb more flavor than canned. In this recipe, the 2 cups of dried cannellini beans cost about $2.50 from the bulk section of my grocer. And, 2 cups will make soup to feed our family of four twice. Do the per serving math on that - not bad!
To reduce cooking time (especially in my pressure cooker), I always soak my dried beans in boiling water rather than room temperature water. Keep an electric kettle in your kitchen to more easily pour boiling water over your beans, and you'll reduce the soaking time needed by 1 to 2 hours. It will keep the cook time down in the pressure cooker as well to 30 minutes versus the respective 2 hours, 1 hour, and then the 40 minutes that I tried when experimenting.
Boost flavor without meat or meat broth by using dried mushroom powder, easily found in most grocers these days, including Trader Joe's. It's the latest 'must have' ingredient and adds a layer of umami to your dish.
While other white bean soup recipes include additional ingredients like carrots, celery, and kale, I preferred this simpler version. Add other veggies if you wish; the heartier ones in the beginning and the greens towards the end of cooking.
Cannellini beans are white, Italian kidney beans. If you have trouble finding them, substitute Great Northern or white navy beans. Here's a fun resource on white beans.
Boiled cannellini beans have about 225 calories per one cup serving with 11 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrates. They also contain iron, magnesium and folate. Get beans into your days, folks. Every day!
2 cups dried white cannellini beans, picked through, washed, and soaked in boiling
water for 1 hour
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mushroom powder
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
8 cups water
1/4 cup fresh, minced parsley
1. Select the 'Saute' setting on your electric pressure cooker and adjust to 'Normal'. Once hot, add oil, garlic, and shallot. Cook 1 minute, mixing.
2. Add chile flakes, black pepper, mushroom powder, and bay leaf. Cook 30 second, mix, and turn pressure cooker off.
3. Add drained beans and salt. Mix well. Add water.
4. Secure the lid on your pot and close the pressure-release valve. Pressure cook on 'High' for 30 minutes. When finished cooking, use a natural release to depressurize.
5. Add parsley and serve as is or with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.
Pressure time: 17 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Depressurize Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 27 minutes