A slowly simmering pot of beans is the definition of vegan comfort food for me. This brothy beans recipe is deep and rich with fairly simple ingredients. The beans get so silky! As with any time that we cook beans from scratch, it does take about 1.5 hours total to simmer. But this time is mostly inactive, requiring you to only pop over to the stovetop a couple times to stir and check on the vegetable stock level.
To make beans flavorful, I sauté quartered onions, shallots, celery, sliced garlic, herbs, and spices as the base of the broth. Smoked paprika and ground chillies add nice depth along with thyme and oregano. Getting some light browning on the onions, shallots, and celery boosts the deliciousness as well. I also soak the beans ahead of time with some salt in the water, a tip that I learned from Serious Eats. This helps to ensure that the beans are well-seasoned from the start. I finish these brothy white beans with miso to emphasize the umami, lemon juice to perk up the acidity, and fresh chopped herbs like dill and parsley.
What beans to use for brothy beans?
- For this recipe, I recommend any type of white bean. I used the Ayacote Blanco beans from Primary Beans here, and they were so silky and satisfying.
- Navy beans, cannellini beans (which are sometimes called white kidney beans), corona, or lima beans would all work.
- Cooking dried beans can vary quite a bit! There are so many factors that contribute to cooking time and how much vegetable stock you’ll need! It really is a situation where it’s best to cook by feel and intuition with the recipe as a guide. I do give lots of cues and clues in the recipe if it’s your first time.
To store leftover brothy beans, cool them thoroughly and transfer to a sealable container. These will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the beans in containers for up to 6 months. Thaw the containers overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stove top.
Fans of this recipe may also enjoy my Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale. You could also make these into a brothy beans with greens type of situation! Simply chop up a small bunch of either kale, dandelion or mustard greens and add them at the end, simmering until the greens are wilted and soft.
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One-Pot Brothy Beans with Herbs & Lemon
- 1 lb white beans, soaked overnight with water to cover and 1 tablespoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered (keep the root intact)
- 2 shallots, peeled and quartered (keep the root intact)
- 1 stick celery, chopped into 3-4 big pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, minced
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground chillies or chili flakes
- 6-12 cups vegetable stock (see notes)
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoons light miso
- lemon juice, to taste (I like 1-2 tablespoons)
- handful of fresh dill or parsley, chopped
- I wound up using 12 cups of broth total for my pot of beans. This will vary depending on which beans you’re using, how long you soaked them, how old they are etc. I know that’s not super precise, but that’s just how beans are sometimes haha.
- I used the Ayocote Blanco beans from Primary Beans here. Any type of white bean (navy, butter beans, cannellini, corona) is great.
- I fish out the celery, bay leaf, and some of the bigger bits of onion at the end. But aside from that, I leave most of the onions in the pot because I like them. Of course, if you have the patience and strictly want to enjoy beans and broth, you can retrieve all of the bits.
- You can keep these stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- You can use dried herbs instead of fresh–just substitute 1 ½ teaspoons for both thyme and oregano.
- You could also make these into a brothy beans with greens kind of situation! Simply chop up a small bunch of either kale, dandelion or mustard greens and add them at the end, simmering until the greens are wilted and soft.
- I soak my beans overnight in lots of warm water with 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in there! I learned this trick from Serious Eats. When you’re ready to cook the beans, drain and rinse them. Set aside.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, pour in the oil and swirl it around. Place the quartered onions, shallots, and celery pieces into the pot. Let them brown lightly on one side and then stir/flip the pieces over. Keep cooking until all sides have a bit of a golden edge. This process should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the bay leaf, garlic, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, and chillies. Stir and sauté until very aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the drained beans and stir. Then, add 6 cups of vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper (being mindful of the salty miso we'll add at the end) and stir. Place the lid on top, slightly askew to vent a bit. Bring the beans to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer the beans for about 1 ½ hours, checking in on them every 30 minutes or so. If the level of vegetable stock is getting low, just add more by the cup. Once your beans are super tender and silky, they’re good to go. I like to taste 3-5 beans just to make sure that the whole batch is good. The batch I cooked here simmered for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Fish out the big pieces of celery, bay leaf, and as much of the onion/shallots as you like (I leave most of them).
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine the miso and a couple ladlefuls of the hot stock from the pot. Give the mixture a whisk to dissolve the miso and then pour that mixture into the pot. Stir. Check the beans for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add lemon juice to taste and stir. Garnish the beans with the chopped dill/parsley.
- Serve the brothy beans hot with crusty bread and extra black pepper on top.