Brothy Beans and Greens

5 from 16 votes

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Now, these brothy beans and greens are absolutely my everything! I made a big pot of them, and saved for the week and it keeps SO well. This is such an amazing vegetarian recipe and is easily adaptable to be vegan, or to add protein as well.

It’s an easy, no fuss bean recipe, that just needs some time and the reward is SO worth it!

Brothy Beans and Greens

Ingredients you need for your brothy beans and greens

Beans of choice: More on that below! You can use any dried beans you have on hand.

Onions and garlic: The base of this recipe. I keep the peels on, as I feel they have extra flavor and a deeper color with the broth, but if you’d like to omit, you can peel before caramelizing.

Lemons: I love the depth of flavor from the fresh lemon juice.

All the herbs your heart desires: Mix and match with all your favorites like oregano, rosemary or fresh thyme.

Parmesan rind and shaved parmesan: A parmesan cheese rind in a soup/stew like this adds so much umami! However, it can be totally omitted to make this recipe vegan.

Chili flakes: If you want a little bit of heat!

Leafy greens: This can be anywhere from kale, to dandelion greens, or spinach works great too.

black pepper and kosher salt

Brothy Beans and Greens

Steps to make this recipe

Rinse and soak your beans

The night before, rinse then soak your beans in water (fill over the beans about 2 inches) and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. This is an optional step, but it does add more flavor and will be faster to cook your beans next day. Take your pre-soaked beans, rinse and dry.

Caramelize all your aromatics

In a dutch oven, or deep large pot, heat with olive oil. Add in your garlic, onions and lemon and caramelize about 10-12 minutes. I keep the skins on, but you don’t have to. I find the skins give a deeper depth of flavor and color!

Add your herbs and beans

Next, add in your oregano and rosemary, as well as chili flakes, salt and pepper. Once fully mixed and caramelized, add your soaked dried beans.

Recipe Tip

If you did not soak your beans overnight, I would suggest removing your lemon halfway through or else it can get quite bitter if it overcooks

Add liquid

Then add in 6 cups of water. (As you’re cooking your beans, if you’re finding you need more liquid to bean, adjust with more water, this will depend on the size of the beans you choose to use)

Add your parmesan and simmer

Toss in a parmesan rind and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then to a gentle simmer, uncovered.

Cook your beans

Check on your beans every 30 minutes and give them a stir, and taste to test doneness until they are super tender – this should take anywhere from 50 minutes to 2+ hours, depending on the size, kind and age of the beans. (My pre-soaked beans took about 1 1/2 hours).

Assemble

When your beans are done, remove your parmesan rind, and it’s time to assemble your dish! You can also remove the onion and garlic peels at this point, but I just kind of discard them as I’m serving.

Add in your dried leafy greens and allow them to wilt in the broth. Serve in bowls, top with shaved parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, crispy panko breadcrumbs, and/or toasted bread. You can also top with your favorite herbs like parsley, basil or dill.

Brothy Beans and Greens

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

What beans can I use for brothy beans?

You can use baby lima beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, or great northern beans! You can also use any non-white beans, too. Any dried white bean will do. 🙂 Also, ensure you’re using fresh beans. If your beans are expired, it will take an increasingly longer time to cook.

Why do you soak your beans?

Soaking beans takes down cooking time for the next day. It also allows you to add a lot more salt and flavor into the beans as their soaking overnight!

How can I make these brothy beans beans?

If you want to make this vegan, just omit the parmesan rind and the topping with shaved parmesan.

How can I save brothy bean leftovers?

This makes quite a lot of beans! Store in the fridge or freezer for 4-5 days in an air tight container, heat up when ready to eat, and just top with parmesan!

Can I add more protein to these beans?

If you’d like to add more protein to this recipe, you can add in pork like bacon, beef and lamb would be excellent with this.

If you want to make this without dried beans/canned beans:

Add the drained and dried canned beans after Step 7! Let them soak up the broth for another 10-12 minutes (instead of the mentioned 50+ minutes, then serve!)

Brothy Beans and Greens

Serve your beans with:

Other soups that I LOVE from the library are, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Tomato Soup with Crispy Gruyère Toasts and our Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

If you do make these Brothy Beans and Greens (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and through social media so I can be sure to see what you’re making! If you’d like to stay in touch and get the latest to your inbox, sign up for our Newsletter here as well!

In addition, we can also be found on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Recipe inspired by Alison Roman’s Brothy Beans

Brothy Beans and Greens
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Brothy Beans and Greens
5 from 16 votes

Brothy Beans and Greens

Now, these brothy beans and greens are absolutely my everything! I made a big pot of them, and saved for the week and it keeps SO well.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups dried beans, can use dried baby lima, dried cannelloni, dried great northern
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half, lengthwise
  • 1 lemon, cut in half, lengthwise
  • 1 small bunch of oregano and rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 parmesan rind, optional, omit to make vegan
  • 2 handfuls of leafy greens, we are using kale, but you can use chard, dandelion greens, spinach, etc.
  • shaved or shredded parmesan for serving, optional, omit to make vegan
  • serve with panko breadcrumbs, or toast

Instructions 

  • Rinse and soak your beans. The night before, rinse then soak your beans in water (fill over the beans about 2 inches) and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. This is an optional step, but it does add more flavor and will be faster to cook your beans next day. Take your pre-soaked beans, rinse and dry.
  • Caramelize all your aromatics. In a dutch oven, or deep large pot, heat with olive oil. Add in your garlic, onions and lemon and caramelize about 10-12 minutes. I keep the skins on, but you don't have to. I find the skins give a deeper depth of flavor and color!
  • Add your herbs and beans. Next, add in your oregano and rosemary, as well as chili flakes, salt and pepper. Once fully mixed and caramelized, add your soaked dried beans. *If you did not soak your beans overnight, I would suggest removing your lemon halfway through or else it can get quite bitter if it overcooks
  • Add liquid. Then add in 6 cups of water. (As you're cooking your beans, if you're finding you need more liquid to bean, adjust with more water, this will depend on the size of the beans you choose to use)
  • Add your parmesan and simmer. Toss in a parmesan rind and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then to a gentle simmer, uncovered.
  • Cook your beans. Check on your beans every 30 minutes and give them a stir, and taste to test doneness until they are super tender – this should take anywhere from 50 minutes to 2+ hours, depending on the size, kind and age of the beans. (My pre-soaked beans took about 1 1/2 hours).
  • Assemble. When your beans are done, remove your parmesan rind, and it's time to assemble your dish! You can also remove the onion and garlic peels at this point, but I just kind of discard them as I'm serving.
  • Add in your dried leafy greens and allow them to wilt in the broth. Serve in bowls, top with shaved parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, crispy panko breadcrumbs, and/or toasted bread. You can also top with your favorite herbs like parsley, basil or dill.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 24mg, Potassium: 917mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 54IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 78mg, Iron: 4mg
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20 Comments

  1. I haven’t finished making this yet, but have run into a few questions. 3 cups dried beans swells up to more than 3 cups “pre-soaked” beans. So pre-soaked as in before soaking? Or pre soaked as in soaked before use in the recipe? The recipe then says to add 3 cups of the pre-soaked beans to pot. Only 3 cups? Or all of the beans that have been soaked? (I added all, but amid confusion)
    Secondly, do the onion quarters, garlic bulb halves, the halved lemon and herb stalks get removed before serving? Or just the stray onion skins?
    I have high hopes for this recipe, I just wish the instructions were not as confusing!
    Gerda

    1. Hi Gerda! Thanks so much for your questions.

      -For the beans, you’ll be cooking 3 cups of your soaked beans/soaked before use in the recipe.

      -For the onion, garlic, lemon and herbs: It’s totally up to you! You can remove before serving OR serve with it. I kind of will bustle around and serve what I feel works from the pot – for example, I want the inside of the garlic bulbs and the onions on my plate. The herbs, and onion/garlic peel as well as lemon, don’t need to be served since they’ll be used completely by using the broth.

      Please let me know if you have anymore questions, we are here to help!

    1. Add the drained and dried canned beans after Step 7! Let them soak up the broth for another 10-12 minutes (instead of the mentioned 50+ minutes, then serve!

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet, but I can tell from reading the recipe that it’s going to be DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing this! I look forward to trying it.

  3. This sounds amazing and I’m going to discern my way through these incredibly confusing instructions. Leave the skins of onions, garlic, and lemon? The papery dry skins that are exposed to pesticides as well as every hand at the market? It also says to “toss in” the aromatics as in throw them in. Then it says to “toss” them. Completely different meaning of the word here. Precise language would help us.

  4. 5 stars
    Loved it. Did a bit of customization.
    Precooked beans 3/4 of the way in an instantpot.

    Added a sliced carrot

    Used shaved vegan Parmesan cheese to go vegan

    Added a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar

    Handful of sliced small potatoes .

    Delicious

  5. so confused- when do you remove skins of onions/garlic if you follow your advice and cook with them on? ive never been served food with papery skins. ick! please advise!!

    1. The skin of onions and garlic (rinse off prior to adding in) add a lot of flavor and color. I normally will remove before I’m serving so they are not actually eaten, just gives flavor to the broth, but you can omit and just do this from the start without the skins. I hope this helps!