Prep 45 mins
Cook 58 mins
In 'Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy'. From the Trentino-Alto Adige region.
- 1⁄2 lb dried cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 lbs firm cooking apples, such as Golden Delicious
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 whole cloves
- 8 cups hot water (or 6 cups for a thicker side dish)
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Drain the soaked beans and put them in a pot with the bay leaf and fresh cold water to cover by an inch or so.
- Bring to a boil, decrease heat to keep the liquid simmering steadily, and cook, partially covered, about 40 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through but not mushy.
- Turn off the heat, stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let the beans cool for a while in the pot, absorbing some of the cooking liquid.
- To make the soup: peel and core the apples, and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Put 4 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy saucepan, and set it over medium heat.
- As soon as the butter melts, scatter the apple slices in the bottom and drop in the cloves.
- Cook the apples for 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften, turning and stirring them gently.
- Drain the cooked beans, and add them to the pan, then pour in the hot water--all 8 cups if you are making soup; 6 cups to make a side dish with thicker consistency.
- Increase the heat, and stir in the lemon zest, cinnamon, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- Cover the pan, bring the liquid to a boil, then set the cover ajar and lower the heat to keep the soup bubbling gently; simmer 10-15 minutes, until the apples are completely soft and the liquid has the consistency you like for soup.
- Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and serve.