Yield: 8 servings
1 cup dried white beans such as cannellini
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water (or 1 ½ cups water, 1½ cups broth)
2 small leeks, diced
1 cup peas
½ pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into
½-inch thick pieces
1 cup bean cooking liquid
2 cups spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (for garnish)
1 tablespoon or more grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
1. Prepare the beans by soaking for a few hours, or overnight if possible. Drain
after soaking and use fresh water for cooking them.
2. To cook the beans, use a wide pot; the water level should always be an inch
above the beans. When done, the beans should be tender but not falling apart.
Start testing them after an hour and salt is best added towards the end of the
cooking. When they are fully cooked, let the beans cool in the liquid before
draining and reserve the liquid.
3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion
and fennel and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Do not let the fennel brown.
4. Add the leeks and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas, asparagus and beans and
cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add the water (or broth), bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt and cook for 5 minutes longer.
7. Add the spinach and the bean cooking liquid, and cook for 5 minutes. If the
soup is too thick, add more bean cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf.
8. Serve in bowls, each one garnished with 2 teaspoons olive oil and Parmesan
cheese to taste.
NYC Greencart Cookbook
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