2 cups water plus water for soaking beans
2 bay leaves
1 20oz bag mixed soup beans and lentils, about 2 1/4 cups
4 cups chicken broth (32oz)
1-2 Tbsp Flying Olive Herbes de Provence, Garlic, Gremolata, Chipotle Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a Combination, or Flying Olive EVOO of Choice
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced, if desired
2 stalks celery, diced, if desired
1 can (14.5oz) fireroasted tomatoes,
1 large precooked smoked or spicy sausage link, diced
1 precooked slice ham such as Cook's, diced
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried lemon thyme or regular thyme
1/2 -1 Tbsp Flying Olive A-1 Premium, Neapolitan Herb, or Oregano Balsamic Vinegar or a Combination of Choice, if desired
1-2 tsp smoked paprika, optional, if you like a little smokiness in your soup
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt (try one of our delicious Salts of the Earth)
Rinse the beans in a colander. Place in a stockpot and cover with cold water. Let sit overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Rinse beans. Add chicken broth, 2 cups of water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and cover. Cook for about 1 ½-2 hours, until beans are tender. About 15 minutes before beans are done, heat a skillet with the Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of choice. Add onion, carrots, and celery.Cook 3-4 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add to the stockpot with the beans. Add the tomatoes. Cook an additional 10 minutes until veggies are well done.
Remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove 2 cups of the bean soup and place in a blender. Putting a dish towel over the top vent, process until smooth. (If you have an immersion blender, you can use that). Return the blended beans to the pot. This will help to thicken the soup. If you like, add more bean soup mixture to the blender and process. We like a more smooth soup with less individual beans, but it's up to you.
Add the meat, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano, 1/2 Tbsp of Flying Olive Balsamic, smoked paprika, and pepper. Try the soup and add more seasonings to taste. Simmer for 20-30 more minutes. Serve with the garnish of your choice such as a swirl of Flying Olive EVOO, a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, and/or cilantro, if desired. (NOTE:This soup freezes well.)
Submitted by Barb L.