White Bean Puree With Beets and Beet Greens
Prep Time: 20 Min (if using canned beans)
Cook Time: 1 Hr 5 Min (if using canned beans)
Ready In: 1 Hr 25 Min (if using canned beans)
This luscious puree has a nutty earthiness from the white beans, and it includes deep ruby-red beets and their bold, slightly bitter greens, whose flavor is reminiscent of kale. Enjoy this soup for its high concentration of folate and the phytochemical betaine, which improves vascular health. Since Roman times, beetroot juice has been considered an aphrodisiac. Consider any amorous feelings a happy side effect!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 beets with greens, greens removed and sliced and beets diced (don’t worry about removing the peel)
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1⁄2 pound dried white beans (navy or cannellini), soaked overnight and drained, or 1⁄2 can (7.5 ounces) low-sodium navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1⁄2 quarts water (reduce to 1 quart if using canned beans)
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- Pinch of sea salt (omit if using canned beans)
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- In a medium pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is tender and translucent.
- Stir in the beet greens and cook, tossing frequently, for 7 minutes, or until wilted. Remove the greens and set aside. (Some of the onion and garlic will come with the greens, and that’s perfectly fine!)
- Add the carrot and beets to the pot and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the beans and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 2 hours (45 minutes if using canned beans), or until the beans and beets are very tender. (Or use a slow cooker overnight on low.)
- Take the pot off the heat and add the orange peel, salt, and pepper. Using an immersion blender or countertop blender, puree the soup until very smooth. (Don’t worry about the beet skin; peeling it off will burn your fingers at this point, and root vegetables hold on to lots of nutrients just below the skin.)
- Ladle the soup into a warm bowl and top with some of the reserved greens. Store any leftover soup and greens separately.
- Nutrition note: Beet greens are a rich source of iron. As a member of the dark leafy green vegetables, these greens stand apart from the crowd as an incredible source of minerals, including high levels of both calcium and magnesium. It’s a rarity to find such large amounts of both. Just 1 serving of beet greens provides 25 percent of the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of magnesium.
Recipe courtesy of Rodale's Soup Cleanse Cookbook by Nicole Centeno.
Image: Tara Donne