Balfonheim Bean Soup

Balfonheim“What?  I’m headin’ out on a trip, that’s what!  Got to buy some foodstuffs, ‘fore I go… and ye’ve distracted me.”

—FFXII

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions or 1 large onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced
  • 1 can anchovies (about 12 fillets), drained and chopped (optional)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 2 lb. chopped cooking greens
  • 2 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-oz. cans of white beans; or 4 cups of Old Archades Beans (about 24 oz.), with 2 cups reserved bean cooking liquid
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large pot, being careful not to let it smoke.  Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered.  Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly.  Add peppers, anchovies, garlic, and herbs, and stir to mix.

Gradually add the chopped greens, stirring until wilted enough for all to be added to the pot.  Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in beans.  Lower heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. (Don’t overcook, or the greens will become tough.) Serve with fresh-grated parmesan cheese on top.

Makes about 11 servings.  Per heaping 1-cup serving (parmesan cheese not included): 188 calories, 5.5 g. fat, 0.7 g. sat. fat, 0.6 g. poly. fat, 3.2 g. mono. fat, 3.6 mg. cholesterol, 728.7 mg. sodium, 631.3 mg. potassium, 26.2 g. carbohydrates, 7.1 g. fiber, 10.6 g. protein, 32% vitamin A, 42% vitamin C, 21% calcium, 25% iron.  Each serving also includes 3 oz. of greens, which is the recommended daily amount.

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