White beans should be soaked before cooking them to soften and promote a faster cook time but also to be more digestible.
Make sure that your beans are from the most recent harvest as older ones, or those kept in the pantry for long are much harder to soften/cook. In case your beans are not that recent, I suggest using ¼ tsp of baking soda when soaking overnight. Be careful as too much baking soda can over soften and peel the beans during cooking.
I am also providing not only the traditional overnight method of soaking the beans but also a simple method of quick soaking them.
White Beans with Tomatoes
I hope you enjoy it!
Here you can find more of my Pulses Recipes.
White Beans with Tomatoes
- 400g Dry Beans , from the latest harvest.
- 400g cubed Tomatoes , canned
- 1 large Yellow Onion , roughly chopped
- 2 medium Carrots , halved and quartered lengthwise and then sliced
- 2 stalks Celery , halved lengthwise and then sliced
- 2 tbsp Celery leaves , roughly chopped. Replace with Parsley if not using the celery stalks
- 50ml EVOO , extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp All-Spice , ground
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda , optional to help harder/older beans to soften
- 1½ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- The traditional overnight method of soaking: 8 hours or overnight soak the beans in water with 1 tbsp of salt, the water to be 4 cm above the beans as they increase their volume quite rapidly. Add more water if needed. Drain the water and rinse them before cooking. Sprinkle a tsp or two of salt to prevent chickpeas from peeling.
- For a simple and quick method of soaking: Add the beans in a large pot or casserole with 1 tbsp of salt and add cold water, 4 cm above them. Bring to boil and keep on fire for 2’. Turn off heat, cover pot and let rest for 1 hour. Drain the water and rinse them before cooking. Sprinkle a tsp of salt to prevent beans from peeling.
- To cook the beans, use a large pot or casserole on high heat and add the soaked beans. Add water to cover them and be 4 cm above their level and add a tsp or two of salt to prevent chickpeas from peeling. Bring to a boil and simmer at very low heat (don’t boil) for about 30’. Remember that for firm beans, leave the lid off, otherwise for more tender beans cook with the lid on, slightly askew to allow steam to vent.
- Skim from the surface any scum/foam that is being created. Continue to cook until tender but still slightly firm. If needed, add more warm water to the pot/casserole for longer cooking time.
- When desired tenderness is achieved, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, drain the beans and keep aside to cool.
- To make the sauce we use the above pot/casserole that has been wiped dry and place on medium heat. Pour the oil and when it heats up add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for about 7’ until softened. Add the bay leaves, all-spice, the cubed tomatoes and sauté for 1’ more. Then add the cooked beans along with the 2 reserved cups of water and bring to a boil while seasoning with the salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15’ to allow for the sauce to be reduced and thicken. Just before removing from the fire pour the lemon juice, stir in the celery leaves and serve.