Beans with Tomatoes

Today is my “no meat” day and I can hardly wait to eat my favorite winter beans soup. It’s so tasty, so filling. There are two ways to cook this recipe.
There’s a quick recipe, in which you just throw in a pot  one tin of beans, some veggie stock, one tin of tomato juice or tomato chunks , 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, a bayleaf, a sprinkle of thyme and a few garlic cloves. No need to add salt, the tins have already more than enough.
But I like so much my “more elaborate” recipe that, twice a month,  I find some time to cook it. Actually, it’s easy to cook, a beginner’s meal,  and it’s healthier.
Here it goes. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 – 7  portions (1 portion = a bowl)

400 grams dry navy beans
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 sweet red peppers
Optionally 1 celeriac root or 2 celery sticks, 1 small parsnip root, 1 small parsely root
4 tbsp vegetable oil
a sprinkle of thyme
a dash of salt
1 bayleaf
1500 ml water
3-4 tomatoes or a can of tomato chunks
2-3 garlic cloves
Favorite herbs (mine are parsley and lovage)

Directions

Soak the beans in water for around  8 hours (over the night).
Drain the beans and transfer to a large pot. Add enough water to cover well the beans.
Boil on high heat, for ten minutes (from the moment the water starts to boil).
Cut the heat and drain.
This method ensures that your bean soup will be more friendly to your stomach and make you less gassy.
Chop the veggies in small chunks.
One tip: you might like the carrot cut in 3-4 large chunks, it’ll be very tasty cooked with the beans, a treat.
Add 1500 ml water, the chopped vegetables, the oil and salt, the bay leaf, cover partially and let it cook on medium heat, for at least 1 hour, until the beans are done.
Cooking time depends on the size and quality of the beans. Beans older than 1 year take a longer time to cook.
Add the tomatoes, blended, the garlic and the thyme and boil for 10 minutes more, on medium heat.
Add the herbs finely chopped, cut the heat, cover and let it rest for half an hour.

Serve the beans soup with raw onions, radishes, pickled hot peppers and wholewheat bread or fresh baguette.
Enjoy!

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