Actually, this is a recipe for Italian Butter Bean Soup, but the list of ingredients is so short, easily available, and even portable that this is an easy, quick to put together, and delicious recipe that it could be called Easy Anytime Soup.
This is also a perfect recipe to double for a quick meal for a crowd (or very very hungry boys). I first had it vacationing “up north” where no one wants to spend time by cooking all afternoon. Try to use fresh sage for the best flavor. Sage is easy to grow (in fact it seems to thrive on being left alone) and can often still be used fresh even if it has been covered with snow.
Here is a case where I truly love chopping the sage into small pieces with my chef's knife, rather than getting the food processor dirty.
This is the original recipe that came from my sister-in-law Marilyn Bauchat:
4-15 oz. cans butter beans (use the canning liquid)
2-28 oz. cans tomatoes, chopped or crushed (used our own canned tomatoes)
1 cup fresh sage, chopped (used our own garden grown)
2 Tbsp. Garlic (fresh), chopped (used our own garden grown)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
Gently sauté garlic in olive oil.
Then put all the other ingredients in the soup pot and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Make a meal by adding some homemade muffins and some fresh fruit. There will be plenty for a crowd, leftovers to eat all week, or to freeze for a future "fast food" meal that's made from mostly local foods.
I modified the recipe slightly this time by draining the liquid from the beans and rinsing them (hmmm, I really did not want all that sodium, sugar, and a few of the other additives). I used additional canned tomatoes to make up the liquid I threw down the sink.
I also put everything in a crock pot instead of a soup pot on the stove, so that I could head outside to get some yard work done on this beautiful bonus day that we're having in Michigan today (expected to get to the high 70's!). I sauteed the garlic in a very small pan, put all of that into the crockpot with the other ingredients, and then used some of the extra tomatoes to rinse out the pan so that I got every last little bit of garlic and olive oil into the soup.
Yum, yum, yum!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD