Monday meals: white bean soup

I wish I could take credit for this one, but there’s no way I’m creative enough in the kitchen (or in life, for that matter) to come up with a soup this delicious.

I’m pretty basic when it comes to soups, but I’m kind of obsessed with tortellini and decided to try this one out. My husband immediately declared it his new favorite and took it to work for lunch the rest of the week.

I feel a little bad for him, because I’m not sure I’ll ever make it again. It was good, I promise, but I had this simmering on a day early in my pregnancy when I felt particularly opposed to any sort of food. So  this dish has a bit of a negative association for me.

I’ll give credit where it’s due – you can find the original recipe here – but I’ll post it here for your ease as well. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it all goes in one pot and I promise it’s not hard to throw together.

White bean, ham and tortellini soup

What you’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • half a large onion, diced
  • two carrots, sliced thin
  • two celery stalks, chopped
  • four garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups ham, cooked and cubed
  • 15 oz can canneli beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp each of oregano, thyme and cumin
  • pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 4 cups uncooked cheese tortellini
  • 2 to 3 cups half-and-half or milk

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions for a couple minutes, then add the carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic, saute a little more, then sprinkle the flour in and cook about three more minutes.

Turn heat to low and gradually add in 5 1/2 cups of the broth. Whisk the cornstarch with the rest of the broth and add. Stir in ham, beans, mustard and all the spices and herbs. Bring it all to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes – the vegetables should be tender.

Add the tortellini and cook for a couple minutes until it’s cooked. Stir in the half-and-half until you have the consistency you want. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top if you want, and enjoy!

Cheryl Hazelton
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