Here is one of my favorite bean recipes.  You can turn this into a lovely pasta meal by cooking a pot of pasta and pouring the soup over. Add Pecorino and Mangia!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Jacob’s Cattle Tiger Eye, Cannelini or your favorite dried beans; rinse well and soak overnight (3 parts water to 1 part beans)2 cups Jacob’s Cattle Tiger Eye, Cannelini or your favorite dried beans; rinse well and soak overnight (3 parts water to 1 part beans
  • 2 Tb salt  
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • carrot diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • onion diced or use 4 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 12 oz  tomatoes coarsely chopped, or use tomato puree when fresh is unavailable
  •  8 oz. roasted red peppers chopped
  • 1 bunch kale stemmed and chopped
  • bay leaves
  • 1 Tb dried thyme
  • +/- 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • about 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • Your favorite salt, it’s a whole, passionate topic, so use what you like, try Jurassic salt (Also called Real Salt)

OPTIONAL

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup soft goat cheese

Soak beans over night if you think ahead enough, OR fill pot with enough water to cover beans with about an inch or so water over beans. Bring pot to boil. Turn OFF pot, let pot o beans sit covered for one hour, then proceed.

Cook the beans in their soaking water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the salt (the water should taste lightly of salt). Cover,  Cook about 1 hour, until the beans are to your liking in texture and flavor.

While this is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in another saucepan and cook the carrot, celery, yellow onion or shallots and garlic, until the mixture becomes soft and translucent but don’t allow to brown. Stir in the tomatoes, red peppers and kale. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until it all becomes tender and add salt to your taste.

When the beans are finished,  add in the vegetable mixture, herbs and spices. Cook for about 20 minutes to blend flavors, taste for salt,  then add the heavy cream, goat cheese and black pepper. If you do not want to add cream, you can add more water if you wish. Taste for salt. Cook for 15 minutes more, then season to taste with salt. (yes, again)

If making this soup in the summer, feel free to adjust the vegetables and use fresh herbs.

Options:

*Add heavy cream and chevre at the end , heating and stirring to blend 

*You can also make this with chicken stock if you  like (I do)

*Instead of Olive Oil, you could brown a couple or three bacon slices till crispy, set the bacon aside, use bacon fat to cook vegetables in. Add crumbled, crispy bacon when served.  (Really good!)

*Pour cooked beans & vegetables  over your favorite cooked pasta, add Pecorino cheese and you have a variation on a classic Italian peasant dish; pasta e fagioli