Sage-White Bean Soup

START TO FINISH: 40 minutes MAKES 6 servings

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1⁄2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
• 2 tablespoons garlic, minced (12 cloves)
• 31⁄2 cups chicken-flavor vegetable broth
• 3 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage, crushed
• 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• Fresh sage leaves (optional)
• 1 recipe Sage French Bread Toasts (optional)

1. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, drained beans, dried sage (if using), and the pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Stir in snipped fresh sage (if using). Remove from heat. Mash bean mixture slightly with a potato masher or with the back of a wooden spoon. If desired, garnish each serving with a fresh sage leaf and serve Sage French Bread Toasts.

PER SERVING: 164 cal., 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 723 mg sodium, 33 g carb., 10 g fiber, 13 g pro.

Sage French Bread Toasts

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly coat both sides of eight 1⁄2 -inch slices whole grain baguette-style French bread with olive oil nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle all sides of bread slices with 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed. Arrange slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until light brown and crisp, turning once halfway through baking.