Herbed Beans

Serves 4-6


  • ½ lb small dried beans (cannellini, navy, kidney, etc), cleaned of dirt & stones & rinsed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • ½ cup celery, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup fennel, trimmed of tough outer leaves & diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 3 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
  • ½ cup mixed soft herbs (basil, parsley, chives, mint & any other herbs you may have on hand), chopped
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)


  1. Cover the beans with water, and soak for 8 hours, or overnight.  Drain
  2. Heat the olive oil with the pancetta in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Cook pancetta for 4 minutes
  3. Add the onion, celery and fennel, season with salt and pepper and cook another 5  minutes or until tender
  4. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute
  5. Add bay leaves, tomatoes, beans and chicken stock to cover by about 1".  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 45-60 minutes or until the beans are tender.  If the beans are done but seem too soupy, increase the heat and boil to reduce the juices
  6. Check seasonings and add salt and pepper if necessary and remove from the heat.  Remove bay leaves
  7. Stir in the lemon juice and the herbs