By Chef Aaron London, Ubuntu Restaurant
For the Beans:
- Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water.
- In a large sauté pan, sauté the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, lemon peel, chili flakes, coriander, and fennel seed in olive oil until just caramelized. Remove from the heat and create a sachet with the vegetables and herbs.
- Drain the beans and place in a large pot. Cover with water and add the sachet.
- Bring the beans to a boil and skim any foam that rises to the top. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until soft and creamy but not falling apart.
- Remove from the heat and add salt to taste. (Note: It is recommended to taste the beans again after 10 minutes and add more salt if necessary.) Let cool and discard the sachet.
For the Soup:
3 large carrots, diced
Freshly ground black pepper
5 stalks celery, diced
2 leek whites, diced
1 head garlic, finely grated
1 Tbsp. crushed red chili flakes
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped San Marzano tomatoes (canned)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
Torn toasted rustic bread
- In a large pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the carrots, a pinch of salt, and black pepper and cook until soft and slightly caramelized.
- Add the celery and leek whites with a bit of salt and fresh pepper. Once tender, push the vegetables to the side of the pot. Add the garlic, chili flakes, and rosemary and stir until aromatic.
- Sweat slowly until all the flavors have combined.
- Add the tomatoes and allow to caramelize slightly in the pot. Add the beans and cooking liquid and cook until the vegetables are tender and all the flavors are in balance (at least 1 hour).
- Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve with torn toasted rustic bread.
Makes 6 to 8 servings