Healthy Beginnings

White bean soup recipe packs plenty of protein, plant-based goodness

This white bean soup is among many recipes created by Gino Scala of Great Full Gardens. Photo: Great Full Gardens

For this month’s recipe, Healthy Beginnings recently spoke with Gino Scala, CEO of Great Full Gardens in Reno, who’s also known as “GinoTheSoupMan,” who featured with us his wonderful White Bean Soup.

Great Full Gardens’ mission is to connect people by providing a restaurant concept that works for every lifestyle, creating nutritious foods of the highest level, Scala said.

“The soups are to provide plant-based options that are nutritious and beautiful,” said Scala, adding that soups are an easy way to provide the body with intense nutrition.

From the antioxidants in his Pumpkin Sage & Hempseed soup to the plant-based proteins in Rae’s Red Lentil & Sensational Split Pea soup, among others, natural ingredients in soup simply make the body feel good.

Scala also recommends adding rice noodles or pasta to soups as the base for a more calorie-dense meal. Check out his Whine Bean Soup recipe below:

GinoTheSoupMan’s White Bean Soup (adjusted from original 40 gallon recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. dried white cannellini beans (or 1 can)
  • 4 cups onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig (6-7 inches)
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1 inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, sauté the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes.

Add the drained white beans, rosemary, vegetable stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft.

Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarse blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed.

Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Go to greatfullgardens.com to learn more about Great Full Gardens, and go to ginothesoupman.com to learn more about GinoTheSoupMan.