Cannellini Bean

tomato whiteIf you’ve been reading my posts in the past then you know that I love beans.  I actually crave meals with beans in them.  They are a great source of fiber and protein for me, and they fit into the Swank Diet for MS in moderation.  Beans are good for everyone.

A bean that is not that common in most households but is in mine is the CANNELLINI bean.  These beans are basically the white kidney bean.  Many people use red kidney beans for most of their bean dishes such as chile con carne and minestrone soup.  The cannellini bean is known as the “Italian white kidney bean”.  You may be familiar with this bean if you eat a lot of Italian cuisine.

The cannellini bean is very high in nutrient value containing high levels of protein, minerals and fiber while being low in fat.

I use this tasty bean in my cooking, often using it in soups, stews and on salads.

Now that fall is in the air it is a good time to get back into soup and stew making to enjoy on those cold nights.  Nothing is nicer than a big pot of comforting soup with a side salad and some whole grain bread (in my case….gluten free…).

Here is a wonderful soup recipe using the cannellini bean.

TOMATO AND WHITE BEAN SOUP (all of my ingredients are organic and non-GMO)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onion

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/2 cup roasted red pepper, (I prefer to use a fresh pepper over the jarred red pepper but it’s your choice)

1/4 tsp. fennel seeds

16 oz. cannellini beans, (if you are using canned then drain and rinse them)

28 oz. diced tomatoes, (I like to use the organic fire roasted tomatoes from a can)

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup of white wine (optional) – I don’t use wine so would add another cup of stock to make up for not adding wine

2 bay leaves

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped down to approximately 5 or 6 tbsp.

1 tbsp. dried parsley

pinch of red pepper flakes as per your taste. ( I like spice so add more than a pinch)

Himalayan salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

2 cups raw spinach or chopped kale (optional)

In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onion for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to sauté, stirring for another minute or so.  Add the fennel seed and roasted red pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes.  The fennel seed will be aromatic.  Add the beans, tomatoes, wine if using, stock, bay leaves and herbs.  Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Season to taste with the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  If you are going to add some greens to the soup then add them near the end of the simmer time to allow them to soften in the broth.

You could garnish this with grated parmesan cheese if you like.

This recipe is great served fresh from the pot.  You could freeze it too.

Just typing this recipe has made me crave this soup. I will gather the ingredients and make a batch for my sweetie and I to enjoy.

Comfort food at it’s finest.

 

 

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