Brothy Beans with Garlic Toast ~ yes beans can be dinner, and a darned delicious one at that, especially when you combine them with garlicky toasted bread and and an incredibly aromatic broth. Let’s do this!!
Notice I’ve been doing a lot more easy dinner recipes lately?
It has something to do with one of my New Year’s resolutions…to eat better dinners. Don’t judge ~ after a long day of cooking, photographing, cleaning up, photo editing, and writing, we food bloggers don’t always feel up to more cooking. So I’ve been trying to come up with easy dinners I’ll really look forward to. Most of them can be prepped ahead, check out a few of my latest ideas:
- Easy 30-Minute Dan Dan Noodles
- Thai Chicken Satay Bowls with Peanut Sauce
- The Best Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Kale and Pancetta Pasta
- Instant Pot Cheddar Risotto
- Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli Rice
I know brothy beans with garlic toast is a pretty simple notion, and maybe hardly worthy of a recipe at all, but stay with me, there’s more to this humble meal than you might think. And if you’re used to grabbing an Amy’s frozen dinner from the freezer most nights, this will rock your world.
What? You’re telling me you don’t like beans? Hold that thought…
When it comes to brothy beans it’s all about the…broth!
After soaking your dried beans the real fun begins. Add them to a large pot with a 48 ounce carton of stock or broth. Add aromatics that will cook along with the beans and infuse right into them for amazing flavor. The aromatics themselves will be removed when the beans are tender. What’s so wonderful is that while the beans are cooking and plumping up in all that broth, they’re also taking on flavor.
Aromatics for a fabulous bean broth = BIG flavor!
This is just a suggested list, there are many more options, feel free to substitute or pare down…
- fresh garlic ~ just slice the whole head in half
- fresh ginger ~ slice a big chunk in half lengthwise
- bay leaves
- fresh thyme and rosemary
- dried chili pepper
- Parmesan rind
My secret to a silky broth
Once my beans have simmered until they’re tender, I remove all the aromatics, they’ve already given up their flavor so you can let them go. I’m left with tender creamy beans, and a yummy broth. But I don’t stop there. I whisk a beaten egg into the broth to give it a silky finish. It adds just a little body to the broth and makes it even more satisfying. Then I toss in a good dose of herbs to freshen the deal.
One last thing…don’t downplay the garlic toast, it a key player in this meal.
Slice a baguette on the bias for the most surface area, then fry it in a generous amount of olive oil. Rub a cut garlic clove all over the craggy surface to get instant garlic bread, and then sprinkle with sea salt to bring it all together.
You almost don’t need the beans 😉
Make this meal special diet friendly
- skip the bread for gluten free, the beans are great on their own. Or try them over sweet potato toast.
- go vegan using vegetable broth (or water!) and omit the egg.
- lower the fat and toast the bread in a toaster.
- boost your protein and add sausage, tuna, or my personal favorite, a fried or poached egg.
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Brothy Beans with Garlic Toast
- 2 cups dried beans, I used Great Northern white beans
- 48 ounces chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 head garlic, sliced in half
- 1 slice fresh ginger
- 1 dried chili pepper
- 1 shallot, sliced in half lengthwise
- bay leaves
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs, tied in a bundle
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- a pinch or two of saffron
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind
- 1 egg, lightly beaten in a heat proof bowl or pyrex measuring cup
- fresh chopped rosemary and thyme leaves
- grated Parmesan, optional
- 6 slices of a baguette loaf, if they are small, you might use 12
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
- First soak or quick soak your dried beans ~ to quick soak, rinse your beans and add them to a pot. Add cold water to cover the beans with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit for an hour. For regular soaking method, let your beans soak in cold water over night. Whichever method you choose, drain the soaked beans and return them to the pot.
- Add the chicken stock and aromatics (garlic through Parm rind.) Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, or just until the beans are tender.
- While the beans are cooking fry the bread ~ liberally coat the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and fry the bread on both sides until golden. Rub the tops of the bread with the cut sides of the garlic, and season with sea salt. Set aside.
- Remove the aromatics from the bean pan. Ladle some of the hot broth into the beaten egg to temper it, while whisking constantly. After adding 2 or 3 ladles of the hot broth, pour the whole thing back into the beans and stir to combine. Add the fresh herbs.
- Put a slice or two of bread in the bottom of your bowl and top with the beans and broth. Add grated Parm if you like.
notes and variations
Can you do this with canned beans?
- I don't recommend canned beans for this recipe because they are already cooked and can't absorb all the flavors from the aromatic broth, but in a pinch, yeah.
Can these brothy beans be cooked in the Instant Pot?
- Yes! No need to soak the beans in that case, the beans will cook in about 35 minutes of pressure cooking (on high) I cook my chick peas in the Instant Pot with great success in my Instant Pot Hummus recipe.
Can you use other types of dried beans for this recipe?
- Yes, almost any type of bean will work, but they will vary in the time they take to cook.