Tuscan White Bean Stew

Tuscan White Bean Stew

Ingredients:

  • For the croutons
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups dried cannellini or other white beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth

 

Directions:

  • To make the croutons, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes to infuse the garlic flavor into the oil.
  • Remove the garlic pieces and discard. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the bread cubes and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a soup pot over high heat, combine the white beans, water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the bay leaf.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 75 minutes.
  • Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Place the cooked beans into a large bowl and save the cooking pot for later use.
  • In a small bowl, combine the reserved cooking liquid and 1/2 cup of the cooked beans. Mash with a fork to form a paste. Stir the bean paste into the cooked beans.
  • Return the cooking pot to the stove top and add the olive oil.
  • Heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and carrots and sauté until the carrots are tender-crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper, chopped rosemary, bean mixture and stock.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the stew is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Ladle the stew into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the croutons. Garnish each bowl with a rosemary sprig and serve immediately.

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