Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 4 / Cannellini have a delectable creamy texture and mild buttery flavor that allows them to stand out as a bean should, yet blend harmoniously with delicate ingredients. In this quick stew, each element has a subtle but unmistakable presence. Serve in shallow soup bowls, along with crusty whole-grain bread.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2-3 medium leeks, cut into ½-inch dice (about 3 cups)

2-3 medium golden beets, well scrubbed and cut into ½-inch dice (about 4 cups)

1 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cube

1 cup water

2 (14-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add leeks. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Do not brown.

2. Increase heat to high, add beets, and stir another 2–3 minutes, until vegetables are nearly dry. Add bouillon cube and water, stirring to deglaze pan bottom. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cover and cook 10–15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Liquid should be reduced to about 1/3 cup.

3. Add cannellini, thyme, and pepper, and stir very gently, to prevent crushing beans. Cook an additional 2–3 minutes to allow flavors to meld; season to taste.

PER SERVING: 292 cal, 9g fat (5g mono, 1g poly, 2g sat), 0mg chol, 13g protein, 43g carb, 15g fiber, 133mg sodium