Friday, November 16, 2012

French Country Beans

 Lemon, thyme, and sage.
Need I say more?

2 cups dried small white navy beans, picked over, washed, and soaked overnight
8 cups water

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

4 sprigs fresh thyme 
6 fresh sage leaves 
3 strips lemon zest

2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Drain the beans.
  2. Cook beans in water—cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the beans begin to be tender—about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the carrot, onion, celery, parsley, and garlic, and sauté until limp, about 4 minutes.  Add to the soup pot.
  5. Add thyme, sage, lemon zest.  Begin checking after 1 hour.  Skim off any foam that rises to the top of the pot.
  6. Remove the herbs and lemon zest.
  7. Add the tomatoes. 
  8. Season generously with salt and pepper.

6-8 servings

based on a recipe from 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains by Andrea Chesman (ISBN 0-452-27654-3)

To adapt to crockpot:  Cook beans 1- 2 hours on high alone.  Add sautéed carrot, onion, celery, parsley and garlic and add to crockpot.  Cook on high 4-6 hours (on low 6-8).  The last hour add the other ingredients (excluding tomatoes and salt and pepper which you’ll add right before serving). 

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