1 pound dried white beans, soaked for six hours or overnight in 2 quarts water
2 medium onions, preferably red spring onions, one halved, the other chopped
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 large peppers from CSA box (or any sweet pepper)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Drain the beans and combine with the halved onion, the bay leaf, and 2 quarts water in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer one hour. Remove the halved onion and discard.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add a pinch of salt, and stir in the garlic and paprika. Continue to cook, stirring, for another minute until fragrant. Stir into the beans. Add the peppers and salt to taste. Simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes to an hour. The beans should be tender and the soup thick.
3. Stir in the parsley and mint, and simmer another five minutes. Add pepper, and adjust salt. Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.