Rainy Day Saturdays and CHEAP white Bean Soup

It's been a gloomy rainy day. Bring on the soup. Especially good, when you're broke.  Beans, the frugal cook's best friend.

It just so happened I had some beans stored so I made my vegetarian version of the US Senate Navy Bean Soup -

If you've followed me, you'd know I don't like to measure things - and when I give out a recipe, its only my uneducated guess. If you want exact measurements, then go to the cooking channel. (I hope by now, you know I am kidding)

CHEAP White Bean Soup - 

1  lb bag of dried small white beans
garlic (lots of it)
leftover mashed potatoes (1 cup)
fresh rosemary
frozen spinach or kale
dried Italian seasonings

You can either soak them the night before or do what I do cheat because I forget all the time. I sort them, wash them and fill the pot with water - boil and then take off the heat for about an hour.

I drain them - add new water/vegetable broth. I finely chopped the onion, celery and carrots, threw them in. Added about 2 cloves of garlic - maybe more. Added some chopped Rosemary. I don't give measurements so you can add what you like. I'll throw in some dried Italian seasonings too - and cook for about 60-90 minutes on low heat (after you've brought it all to a boil)

Then I mash up some of the bean mixture, add in those leftover mashed potatoes we had the other night - more garlic, salt and pepper. Then some frozen spinach.

For a non-vegetarian - use chicken broth or use water, but use a ham bone for all that good ham flavor. A good way to use up some leftover ham.

* I prefer having ham in mine, but my husband keeps a kosher diet (I don't) so I make it that way for all of us, and then I'll add some ham on the side for the rest of us.

Here's the real US Senate Navy Bean Soup.