Simple Bean Soup
2 small or 1 large onion, about 1 cup
2 large or bunch of baby carrots, sliced but still with size, about a cup
2-3 stalks celery cut in bites, again, you guessed it about a cup
At this point you can add other veg you might have like peppers, turnips or parsnips, even a little squash.
Cook onion until soft in a TBSP or so of butter, add carrots and celery, cook all until a little caramelly in color, add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp. each to flavor veggies. Add 1 lb. dried navy beans that you have washed and gone through. Add 12 cups of water, and turn heat on high until boiling. For additional flavor, add bullion cubes or powder, no more than 1 per cup of water, or any other flavoring you like such as Italian seasoning, garlic, onion powder etc.instead of bullion if you are concerned with salt,.Flavoring ratio is generally 1/2 tsp. per cup, of water depending on dried or fresh. Start lighter and add as you want more flavor. The beans with the vegetables alone are a nice flavor I find, but I do like to doctor it up a bit.
Once on a high boil, you can cover and turn down to a simmer for about 90 minutes, or transfer to a slow cooker set on high and just leave until the beans are soft. Depending on how hot your cooker gets, this could be 4-6 hours. For the simmering method, I turn off and just let sit covered about an hour, and then check for softness of the beans. Of course you can add meat, or simmer the whole time with a ham bone with some remnants still on as those will fall off and add a nice touch-remove bone before serving. My older daughter is a vegetarian, so when she is around, we skip the meat additions, but I love making with a reserved ham bone the best.
While still simmering, I took a bit of video by mistake-can't you almost smell it? We'll get two meals for the four of us, or one meal, and freeze 4 portions for work lunches. I didn't calculate the cost for the batch, but I'd estimate under $4.50, to get 8 hearty servings. I was going to double as I had ingredients to do so, but worried my pot wasn't big enough and would bubble over. In hind sight 1 1/2 batch size would have been good, then two meals and lunch's. This is old school for so many of you, but for those that think home made soup is tough, it really is just throwing things you like together with broth, and seasoning to taste.