Spring never arrives smoothly here in Michigan, and the weather swings back and forth like a pendulum. Some days are as warm and sunny as a dream (like today), with flowers and buds popping out everywhere, while some days are bone-chillingly cold, wet, and windy (like 3 days ago). It was a cold, wet, and windy spring day when I put this soup together in my warm, cozy kitchen. This recipe is a great way to use some staples in your pantry and make that grocery budget stretch a little further. And it is healthy, hearty, and really tastes delicious too. My husband and son are big fans of this soup.
Potatoes, great northern beans, onions, and carrots all keep really well and can be easily eaten at any time of the year. I used golden carrots this time, and brightened up the soup with chopped fresh parsley from the plant on our windowsill. As spring produce comes in, I can imagine serving it with a side of asparagus or fresh new greens. The tablespoon of tomato sauce adds body and flavor to the soup, but it is optional. We almost always have a jar of tomato sauce in the refrigerator for one thing or another, so it was easy to grab a tablespoon of it to add to the simmering pot.
This soup is very easy, and does not take more than thirty minutes to make. I am on a continuing quest to make meals from as many whole foods as possible, while keeping an eye on both the time involved and the grocery bill. I feel that this soup recipe fits in with my ongoing quest. Of course it is nice to splurge sometimes, both with time and money. And it’s not realistic for us to eat healthy, whole foods one hundred percent of the time. But with a little planning, it doesn’t always have to be expensive and time-consuming to eat in ways that are good for our bodies and good for our planet. And truly, foods that are good for our bodies and the planet taste really, really delicious!
Have a great weekend! Spring is a time of great promise and new life, and lots of labor to bring our seeds to fruition. Our cherry trees are in full blossom and some vegetable seeds are coming up. This quote seems fitting for this time of year: “Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.” –John Harrigan
Potato Soup with White Beans and Carrots
- 2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small disks
- 3 cups of potato, scrubbed and chopped into small cubes
- 15 ounces of cooked white beans (I used great northern beans), drained and rinsed
- 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
Wash and chop the vegetables. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of the pot. Sautee the onions and carrots for about 5-7 minutes, until soft, stirring frequently. Add the broth and potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer at medium-low heat for about 12 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Add the beans, and cook over low heat until heated through. Then add the tablespoon of tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste, depending on how much salt is in your broth. Serve with a salad, sandwiches, or cheese and crackers. Enjoy!