hearty tuscan white bean stew

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As you guys know, soups are my jam in fall/winter.  I wanted to share this hearty white bean stew today, I’ve made it twice so far and the kids really loved it.  I put it in Carmela’s lunch (in a thermos) and one of the teachers at the school emailed me asking for the recipe!  It’s like a warm hug: creamy, herby, filling and nutrient packed.  J and the kids enjoyed it with toasty garlic bread, I had mine with a scoop of my favorite gluten free pasta stirred through.

tuscan white bean stew (adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

ingredients:

1 pound(2.5 cups) dried cannellini beans

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 small fennel bulb, core removed, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fennel seeds (omit if you don’t like fennel)

8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced (OPTIONAL)

5 cups water

3 cups veggie broth

2 bay leaves

1 pound kale, stemmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups canned diced tomatoes (approx 1 14.5 ounce can), drained

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

TO SERVE: chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and crumbly vegan parm

method

  1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in a large bowl, add beans and soak at room temp at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.  Drain and rinse well.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot until shimmering.  Add onions, carrots, fennel bulb and celery and cook until softened and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and mushrooms and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in water, broth, soaked beans, and bay leaves.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute.  Cover pot and transfer to oven, cook until beans are almost tender (very center of beans will still be firm), 45 mins-1 hour.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and continue to cook in the oven until beans are fully tender, about 30 minutes
  5. Stir in kale and continue to cook in oven until kale is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from oven.  Discard rosemary sprig, thyme sprig, and bay leaves.  Season soup with salt and pepper.

VARIATION: QUICKER SOUP- Skip step 1, reduce water to 2 cups and sub 4 cans cannellini beans, rinsed, for the soaked cannellini beans called for.  Add water, broth, beans, bay leaves, kale, and tomatoes to pot at the same time and simmer gently until veggies and greens are fully tender, about 20 minutes.

+ über simple garlic bread loose “recipe”:

slice a baguette in half lengthwise.  Preheat the broiler.  Mix up EVOO, crushed garlic, minced parsley, salt, pepper and brush or spread over the baguette surface.  Place under broiler for a few minutes until toasty.  If you’re not a raw garlic fan, use garlic powder instead.  If you’re oil free, THIS recipe is soooo good.

ENJOY and have a wonderful weekend!  xx

 

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