Meatless Monday: Brothy, Garlicky Beans

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So, I could have followed the recipe at Food52, but it seemed like such a waste to toss the carrots and celery. It seems like such a shame to get rid of perfectly good vegetables. After all, shallots make everything better and what’s a vegetable soup without vegetables?

Okay, let’s be honest, I chopped the damn carrots and celery before I noticed that they needed to be whole for the purposes of this recipe. My carelessness aside, the onions, celery, carrots and shallots make for some bulk to the soup, and when accompanied by the white beans, this becomes a very filling and nutritious dinner. The only thing I remove from the borth before serving were the four smashed garlic cloves and the parmesan rinds, which can be omitted for a vegan and dairy-free alternative.

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For Meatless Monday, this is great. If I were to make it again, I might actually start it with a little pancetta or prosciutto for some extra salt and a different flavor. But, all in all, this was a very easy Monday night meal.

WHAT WORKED: The vegetables and aromatics. This broth is about the way flavors interact. The carrots, celery, shallot, onion, herbs and garlic are complementary, as they so regularly serve as a base. They provided a great flavor to the soup, which was backed up by the starchy thickness of the beans and their liquid. And did I mention that shallots make everything better?

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WHAT DIDN’T: My insistence on not reading directions.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: I honestly don’t remember. I think she had a rough day at work, so comments on dinner were few.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes, see the third paragraph above.

Brothy, Garlicky Beans
Adapted from Merrill Stubbs’ original at Food52

  • 2 cans of white beans with their liquid
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 medium shallots, halved and peeled
  • 4 fat cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 stalk of celery, preferably with its leaves, cut into 3-inch lengths (JARED’S NOTE: I chopped these into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and halved (JARED’S NOTE: I chopped these into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 2 tbsp. good olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Sea salt
  • 2 small Parmesan rinds
  • 14-15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

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In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the beans and cover with stock. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook uncovered for 40 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for up to 20 minutes. Remove the onions and garlic, and discard. Remove the carrots, celery and shallots (if you’d like) and discard. Adjust flavors with salt, if needed. Serve hot with crusty bread and grated Parmesan.

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