The white beans (cannellini), along with garlic and rosemary or sage, are traditional ingredients in many soups and stews in Tuscany. Serve as a main course with a simple salad of mixed greens.
· 1 tablespoon oil, olive, extra-virgin
· 6 clove(s) garlic
· 1 slice(s) bread, 100% whole-grain
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
· 2 cup(s) beans, cannellini
or other white beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
· 6 cup(s) water
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 leaf bay leaf
· 2 tablespoon oil, olive
· 1 medium onion(s), yellow
· 3 medium carrot(s)
peeled and coarsely chopped
· 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground
· 1 tablespoon rosemary, fresh
chopped, plus 6 sprigs
· 1 1/2 cup(s) stock, vegetable
Instructions: To make the croutons, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and saute 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 saute, 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 saute 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.
Serving size: About 1 1/4 cup stew and 1/6 of the croutons
Nutritional Information Amount Per Serving
Calories 328; Total Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 1g; Sodium 450mg;
Carbohydrates 48g; Dietary Fiber12g; Protein 16g; Cholesterol 0
(Source: This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.)