soup on a dreary day

How are things in your neck of the woods? As dreary as it is here?

I'm happy that I have my houseplants and that so far they seem to be doing very well despite the dreariness (remember the pittosporum hedge in California? My little potted plant is full of flowers right now!)

It's been cloudy-dark, rainy, misty and foggy. Perfect weather for soup (even if I'd rather have my soup accompanied by some snow). This fall and winter I've been on a soup-making kick. I've just been making up recipes based on what ingredients I have around and what I feel like eating. I have to admit that I find myself getting annoyed with recipes a lot of the time. They call for ingredients I don't have when I don't have time to run to the store. Or, more often, I can't find just the right recipe for what I have in mind. Sometimes no matter how simple the idea in my head, I can't find a recipe to match. The good thing about soup is that it's hard to mess up if you feel like improvising. I have a few favorites that I've made up or modified from other recipes (or combinations of recipes). Recently I keep coming back to a bean and potato soup that is just so hearty and cozy. Even if you're like me and hate to follow recipes exactly, you might want to try (or tweak) this recipe. I use rosemary snipped from the potted plants on my windowsill which in and of itself is such a Joy.

White Bean and Potato Soup with Rosemary and Garlic

1 medium to large onion
olive oil
4-6 medium potatoes (or more/fewer depending on size), washed and cubed
3-5 cloves of garlic (depending on their size and your taste), minced or crushed
4 cups broth (I used Trader Joe's chicken broth packets at 1/2 concentration)
handful fresh rosemary
2 13.4 oz. packages of white beans (or 2 cans or equivalent dried beans, cooked)

Sauté onion in olive oil until golden and transparent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Stir in potatoes and add a little salt (unless the broth you're using is salty, mine was not). Let sauté a couple minutes stirring occasionally to thoroughly coat potatoes. Pour in broth, adding more water if needed to cover the potatoes. Stir in rosemary sprigs, pulling apart the needles a bit as you add them to the pot. Cover the pot and let simmer until potatoes are soft (about 15-20 minutes). Using an immersion (hand) blender, puree about half of the soup (or ladle about 1/2 of the soup into a blender, puree and return to the pot). Add the rinsed beans, stir, cover and let simmer a couple minutes to heat the beans. If the soup is too thick, add a bit of water. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve.

I've used new yellow potatoes and russet potatoes. Both are yummy. Pureeing only part of the soup leaves some chunks of potatoes and gives the soup a bit of creaminess (without adding any dairy). Variations are endless... meat, cheese, veggies, other herbs. It's fast and simple and it tastes really good (especially served with bread and beer).

I have a hard time grasping the fact that Christmas Eve is two weeks from today. I've been adding little bits of holiday cheer here and there. Mostly I just want a cozy house with lots of flowers (I'm not big into seasonal decorating). I have some narcissus in jars in the window and even without flowers they seem kind of festive to me.

And after reading Karen's post, I really want to use some more jars to make some of these.


  1. Love your post and I will give your soup a try

  2. I hope you get happier weather soon!!! This soup sounds good and I will be trying it. Have a great day.

  3. That soup is on my menu plan now! Sounds so yummy. I love soup making at this time of the year. It has been dreary here too but today the sun is shining. I hope it makes it to you too! xoxo

  4. Hi Anne!! I'm in soup mood, too!!
    Yours look delicious...!!
    You've been doing many interesting things in these last times, so bad I didn't have enough time to read your blog and participate at your give away!!

  5. The soup looks really satisfying and creamy! The bulbs in the jars are a lovely touch and it will be exciting when the flowers start to come through!

  6. I do not like to cook, Anne, but your post makes me want to!! I too do not like to follow recipes either, but your directions are very flexible!

  7. what a wonderful idea with the jars full of flowerbabies! I have to try it out too! Thank you alot :)

  8. Soup accompanied by snow, sounds truly amazing and beautiful. Your recipe sounds like a poetry. I will definately try it. I completely agree and respect your cooking philosophy. It is also so beautiful and inspiring how creative you are in your life. Your rosemary plants are awesome.


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