(POSTED: February 25, 2007)
Chicken and Vegetable Bean Soup
Fennel, tomatoes, and rosemary lend a Mediterranean note to this bean soup. Serve it with focaccia and a crisp green salad, with gelato for dessert. This hearty recipe can easily be made into a tasty meatless version by omitting the chicken.
1 cup dry great northern beans
6 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4-1/2 cups chicken broth
2-1/2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1. Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan, combine beans and the 6 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
2. Meanwhile, in a 3-1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker, combine onion, fennel, carrots, garlic, parsley, rosemary, and pepper. Place beans atop vegetables. Pour chicken broth over all.
3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
4. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in chicken and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes longer or until heated through on high-heat setting. Makes 4 to 6 servings.