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pot and bowl of brothy beans

Brothy Beans with Fennel + Parmesan

  • Author: anita | wild thistle kitchen
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 8 cups of brothy beans 1x


These Brothy Beans with Fennel + Parmesan are simple, elegant, and delicious. A savory, herby broth full of tender beans finished with fresh lemon juice.



For the Brothy Beans:

  • 2 cups dried beans
  • 1 parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bulb of fresh fennel, trimmed and halved
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 2 shallots, halved
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups water

To Serve:

  • Sourdough toasts
  • lemon wedges
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chopped fresh herbs


  1. Place all brothy bean ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are tender. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours or even a bit more if your beans are old. Just test a bean or two after an hour and then keep checking at 30 minute intervals. I like my beans very soft, but if you like them more firm just stop cooking them sooner.
  3. Taste broth and adjust salt to taste. 
  4. To serve: Place a piece or two of toasted sourdough in a shallow bowl, ladle over beans and broth, spritz with fresh lemon, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on a few fresh herbs if desired, and dig in.


Nope, I did not skip a step - I don't soak my beans for this. If you prefer to soak your beans, be my guest. I find in this type of recipe it makes no difference. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

Keywords: brothy beans, brothy bean recipe, dried bean recipe