Chef Pat Keene of the Artichoke Cafe recommends the Camellia brand of dried cannellini beans, available via Amazon. “They’re the brand my grandma used,” she says. Should you have some leftover soup, but not quite enough, she has a way of making it stretch: “Sauté greens such as broccoli rabe, kale, or escarole in olive oil and add them to the soup.”
1 pound dried cannellini beans
8 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
14½-ounce can Muir Glen organic petite diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or, if you prefer, you can use 2 slices uncooked bacon, chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Makes 6–8 servings
Rinse and sort beans, removing any broken pieces or pebbles.
In a large soup pot, combine beans, water (or broth), onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, and olive oil (or bacon). Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for approximately 1½ hours, or until beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add additional water while cooking, if necessary.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread and salad.