Serves 8

Per serving: 226 calories, 11.6g protein, 39.1g carbohydrate, 9.1g dietary fiber, 3.1g total fat (0.4g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 16mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 2.6

The smoky flavor of roasted garlic is a great substitute for ham or sausage. Make this hearty one-bowl meal with any beans you like--white, red, black, pinto, lentils, split peas--or a mix of several colors.


  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 head roasted garlic, peeled and mashed (see sidebar)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

PICK OVER the beans to remove any small rocks or other debris. Rinse well to wash away all traces of dust.

HEAT a soup pot or large saucepan on medium; swirl the oil around the bottom of the hot pot. Add the onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion is lightly browned and translucent.

ADD the water, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and beans. Bring to a boil; lower heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the beans are tender, 2 to 3 hours. (If you're substituting larger beans, they may need extra time.)

It's okay to use canned broth, but only if it's low in sodium.

MASH a cup of the beans and return them to the pot; add extra water or stock, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Season with black pepper. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and basil just before serving.

FREEZE leftovers in a plastic zipper bag or airtight container. Double the recipe to stock your freezer with homemade fast food for busy (or lazy) days.