In honor of the Olympics, we’ll be sharing the keys to one of our gold-medal worthy recipes every weekday until the closing ceremonies on August 12th.
Cannellini are Tuscany’s most famous legume, and Tuscan cooks go to great extremes to ensure that these beans are worthy of star status. In Italy, it’s not uncommon to simmer the beans in rainwater to produce a creamy texture, or put the beans in an empty wine bottle to slow-cook them overnight in a fire’s dying embers. We used a more practical approach to make a heartier stew version of the region’s classic white bean soup.
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE A WINNER
- Brining the beans overnight allowed the salt to soften the skins, but kept it from penetrating inside, as it does when the beans are cooked in salted water. When allowed to penetrate past the skin, the beans’ texture turns mealy.
- To prevent the beans from blowing out, we simmered the soup gently in the oven.
- Adding the tomatoes to the soup partway through cooking—after the beans had softened sufficiently—prevented their acids from interfering with the beans’ softening process.
Want to try it out for yourself? Here’s our recipe for Tuscan Bean Stew for free until August 16.