Cooked with assorted beans and peppercorn melange (I went on a food shopping spree), this herbed chicken and beans soup is filling and delicious. Comfort food in a pot.
But assorted beans and peppercorn melange? Of course, it isn’t absolutely necessary to use assorted beans. You can go with just one kind or a combination of two. Assorted peppercorns aren’t a must either. Black and white peppercorns the varieties widely available worldwide but let that not serve as a limitation. I’ve been cooking with black and white peppercorns for decades and they are just great. Use one or both.
This recipe will yield enough soup for six to eight people. If you feel that’s too much, you can always use half as much, or even less, of every ingredient.
- about 400 grams of uncooked (dry) beans
- 1 whole chicken, about 1 kilo in weight
- 1 large onion
- 1 whole garlic
- 10 large tomatoes
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. of dried rosemary
- ½ tsp. of ground oregano
- a teaspoonful of peppercorns
- chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Wash the beans. Soak in water overnight. A reader, Gay, once shared that if you add baking soda to dry beans, you can do with a few hours of soaking. Cook the beans in simmering water for about an hour and a half or until tender.
- Place the chicken in a large deep pot, cover with water, add the whole garlic, onion, tomatoes, bay leaf, peppercorns, rosemary, oregano and salt. Bring to the boil, remove the scum as it rises, lower the heat, cover and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.
- Remove the chicken, garlic, onion and tomatoes from the broth. Cool. Discard the bay leaves. Debone the chicken. Do not flake the meat; rather, tear them into fairly large pieces. See the photo above to get an idea.
- Peel and mash the garlic, onion and tomatoes. Return everything to the pot, add the cooked beans (including the liquid in which they cooked), add more salt if necessary, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. That’s it. You’ve got yourself a great hearty soup. Garnish with chopped parsley, if you wish, just before serving. Accompanied by bread, this herbed chicken and beans soup is a complete meal.