Herbed Brothy White Beans

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Rich, hearty white beans simmered in a tomato, onion, and herb broth – perfect for dipping a crusty bread into or spooning over toast!

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White Beans in Tomatoes, Broth, and Herbs

White Beans in Tomatoes, Broth, and Herbs is a rustic and heartwarming dish that combines the comforting textures and flavors of creamy white beans with the rich, umami depth of tomatoes.

Steeped in a savory broth infused with aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme, and perhaps a bay leaf, this dish is a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create something truly satisfying. The tomatoes offer a bright acidity and subtle sweetness that beautifully complements the earthy, soft beans.

This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a hearty main, a fulfilling side, or even as a robust addition to salads and stews – but I love to spoon it over sourdough toast, letting the bread soak up all the rich flavor! If you let your beans cook down to soft, they can be spread across the bread for a hearty, easy vegan meal!

A plate with herbed brothy white beans and tomatoes on it.

How to Make Brothy White Beans

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  • 12oz cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

After gathering your ingredients, we will use the following process:

  • Prepare the Beans: Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
  • Sauté Aromatics: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Add Beans and Tomatoes: Add the drained beans and diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Add Broth and Herbs: Pour in the broth. Add the dried thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 1-1.5 hours, or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally and check if more broth is needed, adding a bit of water if the beans are drying out.
  • Adjust Seasonings: Once the beans are cooked, remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve: Ladle the brothy beans into bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread for dipping, or spoon over toasted bread.
  • Enjoy: Dive into the rich, hearty flavors, perfect for a cozy meal.
A plate with white beans and tomatoes on it, served in a brothy sauce flavored with herbs.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Brothy White Beans

Soak the Beans: If using dried beans, soaking them overnight can reduce cooking time and make them more digestible.

Slow Cook for Flavor: Slow cooking the beans on a low simmer helps develop depth of flavor. Avoid boiling as it can break the beans apart.

Sauté Aromatics: Begin by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil until they’re soft and translucent. This step builds a flavor foundation that will infuse the beans.

Quality of Broth: Use a good-quality broth, whether vegetable or chicken, as it contributes significantly to the overall taste of the dish.

Herbs and Spices: Bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary add classic, aromatic flavors. Fresh herbs can be used at the end of cooking for a brighter flavor.

Season at the End: Add salt towards the end of cooking to prevent the beans from becoming tough.

Check for Doneness: Beans should be tender but not mushy. Cooking time can vary, so it’s best to check them regularly.

Acid at the End: A splash of lemon juice or vinegar added after cooking can brighten up the entire dish.

Consistency: If you prefer a thicker broth, you can mash some of the beans and stir them back in.

Resting Time: Let the beans sit off the heat for a bit before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together.

Garnish Wisely: Fresh parsley or other fresh herbs as a garnish add a pop of color and fresh flavor.

Save the Bean Water: The cooking liquid is full of flavor. You can save it for soups or as a base for other dishes.

Cooking with Tomatoes: If your recipe includes tomatoes, add them after the beans are mostly cooked, as their acidity can prevent the beans from softening.

FAQs

What types of beans are best for this dish?

Cannellini, Great Northern, or navy beans are excellent choices. They hold their shape well and absorb flavors nicely.

Can I use canned beans instead of dried?

Absolutely. While dried beans offer a certain depth of flavor, canned beans are a great time-saver. Just remember to rinse and drain them well.

How do I thicken the broth?

You can mash a small portion of the beans and stir them back into the pot, or let the soup simmer uncovered to reduce and thicken.

What herbs work best in this recipe?

Thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves are classics. Fresh parsley or basil added at the end can bring a bright freshness.

Can I add meat to this dish?

Sure! Smoked sausage, bacon, or ham hocks can add a rich, smoky flavor.

Is this dish vegetarian/vegan?

It’s naturally vegetarian and can be made vegan by using vegetable broth and ensuring any added ingredients like sausage are plant-based.

How long will it last in the fridge?

Stored in an airtight container, herbed brothy beans should last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Absolutely. After the initial sautéing step, transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Can I add more flavor?

Don’t shy away from aromatics like garlic and onions, and consider adding a splash of white wine or lemon juice for extra zing.

A brothy dish of white beans and tomatoes with a rosemary sprig.

What to Serve With Brothy White Beans

Crusty Bread or Baguette: Perfect for soaking up the delicious broth.

Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: Complement the beans with a side of seasonal vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini.

Grilled Chicken or Fish: A simple grilled chicken breast or a piece of fish like salmon or trout pairs nicely with the beans.

Sautéed Greens: Serve with a side of sautéed spinach, kale, or Swiss chard for a healthy and flavorful addition.

Rice or Quinoa: A bed of rice or quinoa can absorb the flavors of the brothy beans, making for a more filling meal.

Fresh Salad: A crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of the beans.

Pasta: Toss the beans with pasta like penne or fusilli for a heartier dish.

Polenta: Creamy polenta is a comforting base that pairs well with the savory flavors of the beans.

Garlic Toast or Crostini: These make great scooping devices and add a crunchy texture.

Roasted Potatoes: Herbed roasted potatoes can be a hearty and comforting addition.

Eggs: For a brunch twist, top the beans with a poached or fried egg.

Sausage or Bacon: Add cooked, sliced sausage or crumbled bacon to the beans for a meaty, flavorful dish.

Try these crusty breads:

A person holding a piece of bread with herbed white beans on it.

Brothy White Beans Recipe

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Herbed white beans perfect over bread.

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A brothy dish of herbed white beans with a sprig of rosemary.

Herbed Brothy White Beans

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

These delicious cannelini beans are amazingly seasoned and simmered in delicious Italian spices and broth - yum!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the drained beans and diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the broth. Add the dried thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 1-1.5 hours, or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally and check if more broth is needed, adding a bit of water if the beans are drying out.
  6. Once the beans are cooked, remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Ladle the brothy beans into bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread for dipping, or spoon over toasted bread.
  8. Dive into the rich, hearty flavors, perfect for a cozy meal.
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 339Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 1mgSodium 385mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 16gSugar 10gProtein 15g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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