I ususally buy mine canned, but they are more commonly purchased dry. Like most dried bean they do best if you soak them overnight before cooking. One thing I learned about the dried beans is that is is very important that they are boiled for at least 10 minutes to remove those pesky substances that can cause, well some down-right unlady like issues. Stove top cooking requires about 1-2 hours of simmering time before they will be soft. If you make your beans in the slow cooker like I do, you are going to want to make sure that you boil these for 10 minutes before putting them in to the slow cooker or your belly with not be happy.
Here are some nutritional facts from the fine folks at Eden Foods:
One 1/2 cup serving of Cannellini beans provides 5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, 10% of the RDA of Iron and a whopping 45% of the RDA of Thiamin (B1). You also get a nice little boost of zinc (10% RDA) and calcium (4% RDA). But frankly, to me, they just taste good. I love them because they are bigger than most other white beans, so they have a toothsome bite to them. They are great to toss into a big salad with a tasty vinegarette. They are dreamy in pastas and casseroles. One of my favorite way to get my Cannellinis is soup! It is still 95 degrees here, but as fall approaches, I often long for a nice cozy bowl of soup. This soup also has some yummy kale, which surprisingly has 2 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. Kale is another nutritional powerhouse. This same 1 cup serving boasts 206% of the RDA of vitamin A and 134% of the RDA of vitamin C! Holy anti-oxidants batman! So eat your soup and keep those nasty colds away and get some protein while you are at it.
Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup
Makes 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut on an angle about 1/8 inch wide,( approx 1 cup)
2 med carrots, peeled and thinly sliced, (approx 1 cup)
2 medium leeks, white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced (approx 2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley (or ¼ cup fresh chopped)
½ teaspoon Herbs de Province
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
1 – 15 oz. can Cannellini beans with liquid
6 cups broth
1 bay leaf
1 bunch kale vein removed, torn into bite sized pieces
In a heavy bottomed stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until they start to sweat, about 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and sauté until they just start to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add thyme, parsley, Herbs de Province and white pepper. Sauté for about two more minutes, until herbs become fragrant. Add white wine to deglaze. Simmer for about 3 more minutes until liquid is almost evaporated. Add vegetable broth and bay leaf. Reduce heat to med low to simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir in kale. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until kale has softened but is still bright green. Ladle into bowls and serve.