yes, it's june. yes, it's warm out. but every year, there's always a week or two about now where summer sneaks away and we're left with cool, rainy days, and even cooler nights. filled with fresh vegetables, chicken, and cannillini beans, this chowder is perfect for one of those cool summer nights.
you aren't still buying your beans canned, are you? a couple years ago our good foodie friend chris picked up a small pressure cooker on clearance for us. ever since then, i ditched the cans and make beans in my pressure cooker. it's insanely simple and works well for black, cannellini, and kidney beans.
rinse the beans and pick out any rocks or beans that don't look so good. add the beans and four times as much water (ie. 1 cup beans and 4 cups water) to the pressure cooker. lock the pressure cooker, place over the stove, and heat until it comes up to pressure. cook for 25 minutes, remove from heat, and let the pressure go down on its own. once the pressure is released, remove the lid and let cool to room temperature. all in all, it takes about 2 hours for the beans to cool. i then portion the beans & cooking liquid into freezer bags for future use. a one pound bag of beans is equivalent to three 15 ounce cans of beans. works like a charm every time. and i think the beans taste better than canned. bonus that home cooked beans aren't packed in BPA lined cans.
white bean & chicken chowder
adapted from an edible mosaic
45 minutes, serves 4
3 slices bacon, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/4 of a medium bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 small tomato, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups (one 15 ounce can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoon minced parsley
- coat the bottom of a dutch oven with olive oil and place over medium heat. add the bacon and cook until the fat starts to render and the bacon is soft.
- add the onion, celery, carrot, and pepper and cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. stir in the garlic, thyme, and flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- add the stock, tomato, tomato paste, bay leaf, oregano, and beans. season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. add the chicken and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
- remove from heat and stir in the cream and parsley.