Fennel, tomatoes, and rosemary lend a Mediterranean note to this bean soup. Serve it with focaccia and a crisp green salad, with gelato for dessert. This hearty recipe can easily be made into a tasty meatless version by omitting the chicken.
- 1 cup dried great northern beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 2 1⁄2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or chopped)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- Rinse beans; drain.
- In a large saucepan, combine beans and the 6 cups water.
- Bring to boiling; reduce heat.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Meanwhile, in a 3-1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker, combine onion, fennel, carrots, garlic, parsley, rosemary, and pepper.
- Place beans atop vegetables.
- Pour chicken broth over all.
- Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
- If using low-heat setting stir in chicken and tomatoes.
- Cover and cook for 30 minutes longer or until heated through on high-heat setting.