1 lb. bag od dried cannellini beans, picked over for stones, washed, soaked over night and drained (if it is hot soak in the refrigerator so they don't sour)
4 cups of chicken stock, homemade is best. I save the broth from poaching chickens and freeze just for my beans.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and slivered
4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 more tablespoons of olive oil for pureeing
How to make it
Prepare beans as directed. I've given up soaking in the Florida heat, the beans sour and start to ferment. I soak in the refrigerator, it may take longer but I don't have a funny tasty bean.
In a large heavy bottom stock pot, drizzle some oil, add the onion, garlic toss to coat and cook until they soften slightly.
Add beans and seasoning, except the salt.
Add the broth.
cook over medium low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You want the beans to be very tender and the onion to nearly vanish from long slow cooking. Don't let the liquid completely evaporate while cooking, stir occasionally, you don't want to scorch the bottom at this point.
If you think the beans are going to be too soupy to puree, drain them and reserve that wonderful liquid to add as a thickener to soups and chowders (fish out the bay leaf and discard).
Meanwhile, puree the beans in a food processor with the metal blade, adding a little oil as necessary to smooth out the puree. Taste and season at this point for salt tolerance and pepper.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Reheat with a little chicken stock to regain the smooth puree consistancy.
Drizzle with a touch of flavored oil on each serving.
Adjust the herbs to complement the main dish. I like rosemary with lamb, thyme with roasted chicken, sage for pork roast. Rosemary works with the Deviled Short Ribs in a beautiful fashion.