Pot of Beans
Here’s a basic method for cooking beans. Soaking the beans is not required, but makes the beans cook faster and more evenly.
Yield: about 6 cups
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1-3 1/2 hours, depending on the type of bean (not including soaking time)
- 1 pound dry beans
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped (optional)
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- Pick over beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
- When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and celery (if using). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the liquid can be used in some recipes.)
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the beans in their cooking liquid for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Per Serving: 125 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 8 g fiber; 57 mg sodium; 382 mg potassium.
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat