Our most recent cooking class focused on eating mindfully and finding opportunities to add colorful fruits and vegetables to meals.

One of the recipes we prepared, a Tuscan white bean stew, is a perfect dish for these cold weather months. If you’re looking for ways to try out your new pressure cooker or Instant Pot, try cooking the beans used in this dish. You’ll save a ton of time! 

Beans are part of the legume family, which also includes peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. Beans contain healthy antioxidants and soluble fiber for both immune and digestive health. And beans offer a wide range of cancer-fighting plant nutrients, including isoflavones and phytosterols. With many options to choose from, legumes are a tasty source of protein to add to any dish.

Tuscan White Bean Stew

Croutons:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Soup

  • 1 cup (about 1 pound) dried cannellini or other white beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
  1. For the croutons: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. For the soup: Combine in a soup pot the white beans, water, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat; simmer until the beans are tender, 75 minutes. Drain beans, reserving ½ of the cooking liquid and discard the bay leaf.
  4. In a bowl, mash ½ of the cooked beans with a fork to form a paste. Stir the bean paste into the rest of the cooked beans.
  5. Return to the stovetop and add the olive oil, onion carrots and garlic and sauté until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in the salt, the pepper, chopped rosemary, bean mixture, and stock.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/tuscan-white-bean-stew/rcp-20049889

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