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I love this recipe because it is flavourful, satisfying and filling while being vegetarian and healthy. You also don't need any broth or bouillon which is great for those watching their sodium. It's from the cookbook, "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen" by Lucinda Scala Quinn. (She is also a co-host of the "Everyday Food" cooking series on PBS.)
- 2 3⁄4 cups dried cannellini beans
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 small carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 4 celery ribs, peeled, and chopped (the tender inner stalks with leaves, about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped tomato, fresh or canned
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaf
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- fresh ground black pepper
- Rinse beans well and place in a large pot. Cover with 4 quarts (or a little less than 4 litres) of water. Bring to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Allow to soak for 1 hour.
- Place the olive oil, onions and garlic in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, after about 30 seconds, add the carrots and celery and continue to cook, stirring, for about 5 minute Stir in the tomatoes, basil and parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 minute.
- Add 6 cups of the soaked beans, cover with 10 cups of cold water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender and creamy, at least 1 ½ but up to 2 ½ hours. Add water if necessary to achieve desired consistency; the soup should be thick. Add the salt halfway through the cooking.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
I used canned beans as well, and added chopped spinach (frozen, thawed and drained). It was fabulous! Reminded me of the lovely soup my grandmother used to make when I came home for lunch from elementary school. Thanks!
I used canned beans (2 cans), because I had them in the cupboard and only six cups of water (since the beans were already cooked). I added some Better than Bouillon vegetable soup base and left out the parmesan (to keep it vegan). Family of six (two under 5 years old) and we had NO left overs!!
I used a package of mixed beans, as that is what I had on hand. This was really good, however, I did add some beef broth for a little extra flavor. I left out the tomatoes. I love tomatoes but just don't care for them in bean soup. All in all, it was a very good soup. Thanks for the recipe.