This recipe is as much about "what it isn't" as it is about "what it is"!
"What it isn't"... gourmet, difficult, expensive, time consuming.
"What it is"... cheap, delicious, found in your pantry at a moment's notice, satisfying, nutritious, variable.
Feel free to embellish with other veggies: spinach, carrots, red peppers or whatever you have on hand.
And for you meat lovers... add some cooked sausage.
This is what you need:
NAVY BEANS (you decide how many cans), drained and rinsed
CHICKEN BROTH or VEGETABLE BROTH, enough to cover the beans
1 clove GARLIC, minced
FLAT-LEAFED PARSLEY, chopped
SALT and freshly ground PEPPER, to taste
PARMESAN CHEESE, for garnish
(Variations: add finely chopped carrots, chopped onions, thinly sliced celery, bits of sautéed bacon or ham)
Put the beans, broth, garlic and parsley in a saucepan and bring to a boil and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
If you like a more creamy bean soup, simply mash with a potato masher or buzz with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
I like to serve this with English muffins (toasted) and topped with a mixture of any kind of grated cheese, thinly sliced scallions and a spoon of mayonnaise to bind.
Sprinkle with smoked ground paprika and then place under broiler or in microwave until the cheese is melted.