This is an all time favorite of mine. It's a standard in my home no matter the season. Why? Honestly, as a child I hated beans! Absolutely hated them. I once sat at the table past midnight because I was told I couldn't get up till I ate the damn things. That was the first time the parents discovered I might have a wee bit of a stubborn streak. My godmother finally convinced me to try this soup and I was won over. Hey, even then, if I was wrong I admitted it.
1.5 cups small white beans that have soaked over night in water.
6 cups vegetable stock, room temperature
1 chopped medium onion
1 chopped med. to large carrot
1 chopped celery stalk
2 bay leaves
pinch of dried thyme
Drain the beans from their soaking water. Add to a stockpot along with the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil over a medium to high heat, then lower to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally (yes, I use a timer to remind me to stir) until the beans are very soft. Minimum time-1 hour. Add liquid as needed so soup doesn't thicken up too much (you can use water if needed.)
When the beans are very tender, season with salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender and puree the soup till smooth. Or you can pour it into a blender to puree. The immersion blender is much easier.
Serve up with a hearty bread on the side, or stuff in the fridge for a couple of days.