Mangiafagioli. Bean eaters. That what they call 'em. Immortalized in a famous sixteenth-century painting housed in the Galleria Colonna in Rome, the painting celebrates centuries of what has kept the Tuscan peasant alive and well fed. I'm with 'em. Take a basic bean recipe, and doll it up with a few simple ingredients.


  • 2 cups dried white beans (cannellini, navy, baby lima, whatever)
  • 6 to 8 cups water (depending upon how thick you want the soup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or more as desired
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped coarsely, for garnish
  • 1 small, firm tomato, diced, for garnish


Rinse the beans thoroughly and place them in the insert of a 6- or 7-quart slow cooker. Add the water, onion, and bay leaves and cook on high for about 4 hours or low for about 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.

When the beans are tender, add the salt and press the garlic into the soup. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Using a handheld immersion blender, puree some or all of the beans to thicken the soup. If you'd like a thinner consistency, add more water.

Serve the soup in individual bowls, garnished with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a tablespoon of chopped, fresh rosemary, and a few pieces of tomato. Mangia tutti!

Serves 6

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Submitted 4/22/13.
Source: Cooking with Herbs by Lynn Alley
Submitted By: B Smith

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Olive Oil and Rosemary