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Navy Bean Soup

1 Bay leaf
5 Carrots
5 stalks Celery
3 cloves Garlic
1 lb. Navy beans, dry
1 Onion, large
1 tsp Rosemary, dried  ~ or ~
(1 Rosemary sprig ( 6-7 inches ), large fresh sprig)
1/2 tsp Thyme, dried
4 tbsp Olive oil
5 cups home-made chicken stock* (or vegetable stock)
1/2 tsp smoked Paprika
1 Red Pepper
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground)
1½ teaspoon Fresh ground salt (Kosher or sea salt)
Optional - add crumbled bacon or leftover ham or sausages (cooked).
(1) Soak the navy beans overnight.(8-12 hours) Change the water frequently ~ discards the carbohydrates in the 'soaking' water. Carbs make your beans become the "magical fruit".)
(2) Mince the garlic, dice the onion(s), chop the celery, pepper and carrots.
(3) Saute the vegetables in olive oil in a pot (dutch oven).  Add the garlic last and saute another minute or two.
(4) Add the rinsed navy beans, stock, water and all spices and herbs to the pot. wait until the end to add salt (the salt makes the beans hard)
(5) Bring to a boil (boil for 10 minutes while stirring) then turn down to simmer. Total cooking time 90 minutes. Taste test to check if the beans are thoroughly cooked.
30 minutes (pressure cooker time) to make ~ serves 6 -8
(good for storing in glass mason jars & freezing)