Brothy, Garlicky Beans

By • March 3, 2014 • 30 Comments

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Serves 6

  • 1 pound white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
  • 2 medium shallots, halved and peeled
  • 4 fat cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 stalk of celery, preferably with its leaves, cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and halved
  • 2 scallions or spring onions
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Sea salt
  • Parmesan rind (optional but recommended)
  • 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
  • Grated Parmesan for serving
  1. Put the beans in a large heavy pot and cover them by about an inch with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Let the beans boil for one minute, then remove them from the heat and cover the pot. Set aside for one hour.
  2. Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add the chicken stock, and if the beans aren't quite covered in liquid, add a little bit of water. Add the shallots, garlic, celery, carrot, scallions, thyme, rosemary, Parmesan rind, olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat until the beans are just simmering. Cook uncovered for about 40 minutes, until the beans are almost tender. Add the tomatoes and cook gently for another 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the aromatics and extra vegetables if you like (or save them for yourself like I do), taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve drizzled with a little olive oil and a shower of Parmesan.

Topics: Soup

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Comments (30) Questions (0)

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Stringio

about 1 month ago Oili Zalite

Very nice soup. I didn't remove the aromatics and extra vegetables, but it still was so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

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about 1 month ago Riann

If I were to use kidney beans would I need to do the boil for 10 min to avoid that obscure toxin? This looks great and my daughters love kidney beans.

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about 1 month ago Ed Sanford

Now for the unmentionable question... How is this recipe on stomach gas. As we adults know, beans are known to cause "issues" in that area... How is this one?

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about 1 month ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Beans will be beans, but I have a method that makes a huge difference. I soak the beans overnight in water. Then, I drain them and put them in a strainer over a bowl. I went the beans a couple of times a day. They are ready to cook when little tiny sprouts spring from them. It's like the beans grow a little tail. From what I understand, this changes the bean from a legume to more of a vegetable. You can also add a small piece of Kobe (seaweed) to them when cooking. I forget why this helps. This recipe may be my all time favorite bean recipe.

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about 1 month ago Ed Sanford

Wow, thanks for the quick response... I plan to try this...

Thanks

Ed

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about 1 month ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are welcome. Just so you know, it may take a day or two for them to sprout. Maybe longer depending on the temp of your home. I actually set the bowl on a heating pad when my house is especially cold. Also, the fresher the beans, the better, so buying them in bulk from a busy store seems to be best.

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3 months ago Nilam A. Patel

I'm excited to try this recipe out! Any ideas on how it will work with a pressure cooker? That's how my mom's always made dry beans but I'm afraid that since pressure cooking is so quick, the flavors won't absorb?

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3 months ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I can't get enough of these beans. I have to always have a supply in my freezer.

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3 months ago Dana

I make this often and it's one of my favorite easy weeknight dinners. It's so incredibly flavorful and even better the next day!

Food52

7 months ago clumsychef

I made this and the cooking time took nearly double for the beans to get soft. Perhaps this contributed to the extremely salty end result. My big pot of beans is way too salty to be eaten like this, I think I may portion them and freeze to throw into soup later.

Merrill

7 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry to hear this -- I've never had beans take much more than an hour to cook! Were yours nice and fresh? You can always add more water to keep them from being too salty if the cooking takes longer.

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about 1 year ago Diane Prenatt

I used dried pinto beans, too, because that's what I had on hand. Great recipe!

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about 1 year ago KDH9966

I made this today for my sister's restaurant and they turned out wonderful! I soaked the beans so I skipped that first step and the flavour from the rosemary was amazing!!

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about 1 year ago SunBunny

Friend is bringing me a big monk bread so I will have to think about delving into this delicious sounding recipe.

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about 1 year ago Eliz.

Finally emptied that jar of cranberry beans! I really like the technique: creating a vegetal raft over simmering beans instead of covering them; the broth is thickened perfectly. The recipe also offers a great lesson in improvisation. I recommend dicing and browning a thick slice of bacon and caramelizing a small, minced onion in the rendered fat before adding beans and other aromatics. A couple of dried porcini bits contribute much as does a generous glob of tomato paste slowly darkened in olive oil.

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great recommendations!

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about 1 year ago Sarah

I didn't have dried beans on hand and was in a hurry so I used canned, and it was still delicious. I agree that there probably wasn't as much of an opportunity for the beans to absorb the flavors, but it wasn't a problem. I'm making this again this week with dried beans.

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Good to know, and so happy to hear it turned out well.

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about 1 year ago Tim Jr

Sounds like a great recipe. Do you think this will work in a slow cooker? If so, how?

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I haven't done it in a slow cooker, but it should work -- this would be a perfect question to ask on our Hotline!

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about 1 year ago rlsalvati

I popped the ingredients in my slow cooker this morning. I'll let you know how it turns out. It smells wonderful.

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about 1 year ago rlsalvati

Great recipe for the slow cooker. Once the beans were soaked, I put everything but the tomatoes in my 4.5 qt slow cooker. After about 5 hours the beans were nice and soft (the way I wanted them). I added the tomatoes, left it for about 1 hour, then set the lid askew to allow some of the liquid to cook off. This is absolutely delicious and fairly begs for a cassoulet-type breadcrumb crust.

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about 1 year ago Sara S.

I just made this with pinto beans and it was delicious!

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about 1 year ago Jessica36

Are you soaking the beans beforehand?

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

No, the initial boil and hour-long rest is essentially a quick-soak method.

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about 1 year ago Jessica36

Thanks! I made this recipe last weekend and it was delicious, turned out great.

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about 1 year ago nutritioulicious

That looks so good and I know my 2 year old daughters will love it!

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about 1 year ago betta.c

Could I make this recipe using canned beans instead? Or must they be dry?

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about 1 year ago NHfoodlvr

yes, I would like to know that also.

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I don't recommend using canned beans for this recipe. Because canned beans are already cooked, you won't be able to simmer them for very long before they get too soft -- thus, they won't have a chance to absorb much of the flavors from the other ingredients, and the liquid won't have time to reduce.