Italian Bean Soup with Indian Spices

This is a variation on a traditional Italian bean soup, or stew, prepared especially in central and northern Italian regional cooking.

Yield: 3 - 4 quarts dense soup

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Italian Bean Soup with Indian Spices Recipe

Ingredients
  • 4 - 5 bay leaves
  • 5 - 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon European-style peppercorn blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red and green bell peppers
  • 5 - 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon mild Indian seasoning, such as sweet curry
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 - 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced or chopped
  • 1 medium can Italian tomatoes in juice, chopped
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 1/2 cups dried beans, pre-soaked (mix of types is best)
  • 3 - 4 cups chicken stock, homemade if available
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Preparation Instructions

I have recently prepared this recipe in a slow cooker, but it can be done in a large pot. Start on medium heat, and reduce to very low for 3-4 hours after starting.

In pot, turned on higher heat, place bay leaves in olive oil with salt, coriander, peppercorns, bell pepper, garlic pieces, and cloves. Allow to heat for 15-20 minutes until spices flavor the oil.

Then, add dried thyme, Indian seasoning, and chopped jalapeno. Stir, and allow to steep for another 10 minutes. As a next step, add all the vegetables starting with the carrot and onion. After each addition, stir and allow them to absorb the oil and spice mixture. Add the can of tomatoes.

(If you did not soak the beans overnight, your very first step in preparing this recipe should be to place the beans in a pot with water to cover, turn on high heat until water simmers, take them off heat and leave them covered to absorb water and begin to cool slightly. Then, add the soaked beans to the pot after the can of tomatoes.)

Now, add the pre-soaked beans and chicken stock. Stir thoroughly, add a little more olive oil if desired, and leave slow cooker on low overnight, or cook on low heat on stove for 3-4 hours.

Yield: 3 - 4 quarts dense soup
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