I don’t know about you, but in these times of social distancing, I’ve been cooking a lot of beans and lentils. This White Bean Lentil Soup combines both in one hearty dish.
First, I highly recommend you cook your own dried beans using the technique in Low Sodium No Soak Beans. Use Great Northern Beans. Set aside three cups for this white bean lentil soup and freeze the rest. They will taste so much better than canned beans and you’ll be able to control the sodium. (Canned beans are notoriously high in sodium although rinsing helps.)
Second, customize this recipe and make it your own. You can use chicken stock or vegetable broth. Try thyme or rosemary instead of Herbes de Provence. Use any type of leafy greens you have on hand; Swiss chard, spinach, or baby kale will do. If your greens have fat stems, remove them first, then chop the leaves.
- Whenever you have a hunk of Parmesan cheese and get down to the rind, don’t throw it out. Save it to flavor soups like this one.
- Try different types of pepper. I like McCormick’s Hot Shot! blend (affiliate link), which is a combination of black and cayenne peppers. I’ve also used lemon pepper, garlic pepper, and an orange pepper blend I picked up in Budapest last summer.
- Add different types of beans. Navy or cannellini beans would both be good substitutes for Great Northern.
Make White Bean Lentil Soup in a Slow Cooker
If you don’t have an Instant Pot® (affiliate link), you can make this soup in a slow cooker. Just follow these instructions:
- Combine beans, lentils, broth, 1 cup water, onion, carrots, garlic, Herbes de Provence, pepper, salt, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until lentils are tender (about 7 hours).
- Stir in greens and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low an additional 30 minutes or until greens have wilted. Discard rind and bay leaf.
- Divide soup among 8 serving bowls and sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan.