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Sun, Jan. 26

It's winter, it's cold outside, but inside, soup's on!

All Materials Courtesy of:

California Dry Bean Advisory Board

Swanson Broths

Nothing is better on a chilly winter's day than a hot, steaming bowl of soup. A cherished comfort food, soup has been part of the culinary history of almost every culture throughout the ages. Today, homemade soup is a simple and satisfying dish the entire family loves. It takes mere minutes to combine a few staple ingredients to create savory soups that will keep you warm all winter long.

The key to a great tasting, homemade soup is to start with a flavorful base. Use Swanson Broth instead of water for a savory soup base without the work. It is the secret ingredient to perfect homemade soups every time.

The rich taste and hearty texture of large lima beans (also called butter beans) make them a satisfying addition to soup. As a bonus, beans are naturally low in fat and high in fiber, so they are a healthy complement to traditionally heavy winter fare.

Soup Trivia

Soup is one of the most beloved foods in the world and has a long and colorful history. Here are some fun and interesting facts about it provided by the Campbell Soup Company:

—Archaeological evidence suggests that the first soup dinner dates back to 6000 B.C. The main ingredient of this first-known soup? Hippopotamus bones!

—It's estimated that Americans consume more than 10 billion bowls of soup each year.

—The ladies of the French court of Louis XI subsisted mainly on soup because they believed that chewing would cause them to develop wrinkles.

Lima Bean Senate Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes

Makes 6 servings

4 slices bacon, diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cloves garlic

2 cans (14 ounces each) Swanson Chicken Broth

1/2 cup water

2 small potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 cans (15 ounces each) large lima beans (butter beans), rinsed and drained, or 6 cups cooked dry-packaged large lima beans (butter beans)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

COOK bacon in stockpot until browned. Remove and set aside.

ADD onion, celery and garlic and cook until browned.

ADD broth, water, potatoes and 1 can beans. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

PLACE half the broth mixture in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining broth mixture. Return to pan. Add bacon, remaining 2 cans beans and parsley. Heat through. Season with pepper to taste.

Butter Bean Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup finely chopped carrots

1 1/3 cups finely chopped celery

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 quarts Swanson Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth

2 cans (15 ounces each) large lima beans (butter beans), rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked dry-packaged large lima beans (butter beans)

1 cup chopped tomato

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

SAUTÉ carrots, celery and onion in butter in stockpot until onion is tender, 5 to 8 minutes; add flour and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add broth, beans and tomato; heat to a boil.

REDUCE heat and simmer, covered, until carrots and celery are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in parsley, basil, thyme and salt.

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