Navy Bean Soup — Gluten-Free and Casein-Free
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Navy beans are one of our favorites here…well, especially Al’s favorites. He likes them with just about anything…in a salad, as part of a main dish or as a side in a main meal. He likes them in many combinations, but most of all, he likes them in soup.
Navy Bean Soup is an easy gluten-free recipe to make, so I often put some in the slow cooker. Al’s idea on seasonings is fairly conservative, though, so I must warn you that the recipe below will be traditional in nature…with lots of room for kicking it up, maybe with your favorite seasoned salt.
Actually, the bean soup does have seasonings in it. We keep them subtle, but they add a lot of flavor, nonetheless. The vegetables and herbs are removed after being cooked with the beans, and then discarded. (They really are overcooked, after all.) However, they could be pureed and returned to the broth if you like. In any case, the bay leaf is just discarded.
The basic recipe calls for water, but if you like, broth or stock can be substituted for part or all of it. I think that improves the flavor immensely – if you have some stock or broth to add, you’ll like it in this kind of soup.
Making stock is so economical and simple. How many times have you described gluten-free living as either economical or simple? If you haven’t tried making stock, Amy at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free has easy-to-follow recipes for Vegetable Stock and Chicken Stock. Elana at Elana’s Pantry also has a good how-to on making Roasted Chicken Stock.
Navy Bean Soup – Gluten-Free, Casein-Free and Allergy-Friendly
1 Pound Dried Beans, Navy or Pea
2 Quarts Water, or Stock, if you like
1 Bay Leaf
1 Medium Carrot
1 Sprig Celery Leaves, or 1 small Stalk
1/2 Small Onion, quartered
1 Sprig Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Teaspoons Salt, or to taste
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper, or to taste
Pick through the beans to sort out any bad ones.
Rinse the beans in a colander.
Put into slow cooker with water (or stock) and remaining ingredients.
Cover; cook according to slow cooker’s instructions on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours.
Remove vegetables and bay leaf. Season soup to taste. Serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Garnish with green onion, or a sprig of fresh celery leaves, or carrot sticks, or chopped ham, or parsley, or crumbled cooked bacon, or shredded Cheddar cheese. Serve with hot rolls, saltines or tortilla chips.
A dash of Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is a nice touch, too.
Navy Bean Soup is naturally gluten-free (no wheat, barley or rye). It also is casein-free, corn-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free and sugar-free.
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