3 (15-oz each) cans navy beans*, drained
1 med onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tsp instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 cups milk
1 jar (8-oz) pasteurized process cheese spread
minced fresh parsley and/or shredded cheddar cheese for garnish, optional
In a large saucepan or a Dutch oven, combine drained beans, water, onion, celery, bouillon granules, basil and bay leaf. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Mash beans slightly with a fork. Stir in milk and process cheese spread. Cook and stir until process cheese spread melts and the soup is heated through. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the parsley, if desired.
*Pinto beans work just as well--your preference.