White Bean Soup with Meyer Lemon
Dried beans all have distinctive flavors, but the big white ones are particular favorites. Look for beans labeled Gigante or Corona, which are especially robust and meaty tasting. Meyer lemon zest adds a winter citrus note, and the deep green, deeply indented leaves of wild arugula impart a spicy, nutty flavor. The butter, olive oil, garlic, lemon and arugula are available at the market.
This recipe is courtesy of Davis Farmers Market Cookbook, Revised Edition 2016 – Elderflower Press By Ann M. Evans. Photo by Craig Lee. www.elderflowerpress.net; www.annmevans.com
To prepare the beans, rinse them well, then place them in a large bowl, add water to cover generously, and let soak overnight. Alternatively, place the rinsed beans in a saucepan, add water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Drain the beans and reserve.
In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, warm the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When the fat is hot, add the onion, rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme and sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic begins to turn golden, 30 to 45 seconds.
Add the beans to the pot and stir to coat with the oil, onions, and herbs. Add the water, salt and pepper, stir well, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender yet firm and not at all mushy, about 1 hour. The timing will depend on the age of the beans and how long they were soaked.
Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with the arugula leaves and lemon zest, and serve immediately
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