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Canned Navy Beans Are The Secret To Creamier Soups And Stews

bowl of creamy soup with white beans
bowl of creamy soup with white beans - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Canned navy beans are a pantry staple you should absolutely have on hand in your kitchen. Canned beans in general are a delicious, nutritious, and extremely versatile ingredient for so many recipes — you can use them to make everything from hearty bean pastas to protein-packed canned bean smoothies — but their best use is perhaps as a tool for improving soups and stews. There is no doubt that if you are looking for a velvety, rich soup, these beans are the ones to reach for.

Navy beans are a very popular type of bean, and they have been a staple in American cuisine for many years. In fact, the bean's name comes from their widespread use in feeding members of the United States Navy during the 1800s and 1900s. They have a mild flavor that melds well with any dish, taking on the taste of the ingredients with which they are combined. More importantly, they have an exceptionally fluffy, starchy interior that melts in your mouth and brings a smooth texture to recipes. This makes them a great choice for amping up the creaminess of soups without overwhelming the existing flavors that are present.

Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

How To Incorporate Navy Beans Into Soup

pureed white bean soup
pureed white bean soup - Dani Vincek/Shutterstock

Adding canned navy beans into a soup or stew could not get any easier. After draining, it is best to rinse canned beans to remove any excess sodium that has been introduced from the canning liquid. Next, pour the beans into the soup toward the end of the cooking process. There is no need to throw them into the pot earlier since canned beans are already soft and ready to eat. Simply let the beans simmer long enough to warm up and absorb some of the flavor from the rest of the soup.

As the taste of navy beans is so mellow, you can use this trick for virtually any soup. That being said, it works especially well in soup and stew recipes that you would like to improve the texture of while keeping them free from ingredients like dairy, as it eliminates the need for items like heavy cream or cheese. You can leave the beans whole to impart their starchy goodness gradually, like in this slow cooker minestrone soup recipe, or puree them into the soup for a more immediate effect, like in this silky navy bean soup.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.