Three Bean Soup

Although bean soups are considered to be better the second day, canned beans and cooking at a high heat, make this one good immediately. Of course, this recipe makes enough to let you see for yourself. It also freezes well.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
5 carrots, diced
2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried fennel
2 bay leaves
6 cups assorted canned beans (kidney, black, white or fava beans), rinsed well and drained
8 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
½ cup rice
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
Fresh basil or cilantro, chopped

Place a 6 – 8 quart stockpot over a medium flame and when it is hot, add the oil. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook for about 7 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add dried fennel, bay leaves, beans and stock and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for at least 45 minutes and for up to 2 hours. Add the rice and cook until tender. Add the lemon juice and serve hot with the chopped basil or cilantro.

Yield; about 12 cups