One of the things I love about the cooking of rural Italy is its simplicity. A simple dish of pasta with tomato and herb sauce. A simple loaf of bread. A rustic wine. The cook is not required to rummage through pantries, or multiple grocery stores and ethnic markets, looking for ingredients. Often she may look no further than her own garden or local farmers' market. Puree the beans or eat them whole, as you wish.
- 2 cups dried white bean*, such as great northern or cannellini
- 6 cups water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Rinse the beans thoroughly and place them in a 7-quart slow cooker along with the water, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on LOW for about 8 hours, or until the beans are nice and tender.
Remove the bay leaf. Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the remaining ingredients to the desired texture. Add the salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, and serve.
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