2 cups white beans, preferably large ones like Aztec or lima, but cannellini or Great Northern beans work as well.
for cooking with beans:
2 bay leaves
1/2 white onion, stuck with 2 cloves
1/2 white onion, 1 celery rib, and 1 carrot, finely diced.
several thyme sprigs, or 1/4 tsp. dried
1/4 cup parsley
4 carrots, sliced
3 leeks, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
6 Tbs butter
1 cup dry red wine
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 white onion, 1 celery rib, and 1 carrot, finely diced
If possible soak beans overnight, or do a quick soak by rinsing them and then boiling for 1 minute and soaking for an hour.
Drain beans, add fres water to cover by at least 2 inches, and boil for 10 minutes. Skim off foam, then add cooking aromatics. Lower heat and simmer covered for an hour.
Season with 1 tsp salt, and remove onion and cloves.
Add carrots, leeks, and celery root, plus water to cover. Cook until both beans and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Pour off the excess liquid, but reserve it.
In a medium skillet melt half the butter with the shallots. (Go ahead and use all the butter, it's what makes this dish so good.) Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add wince and simmer until 1/4 cup remains and the pan is nearly dry.
Add to beans, stir in garlic, season with pepper, and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Cut remaining butter into small pieces, gently stir it into the beans, and simmer until butter has emulsified with wine to make a sauce. Add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid if necesasrt,
Divide among soup plates and serve garnished with remaining parsley.
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, pg. 324