Tuscan White Bean Spread

1 pound of dried, rinsed Great Northern white beans (or two cans) 2” sprig of fresh rosemary 4 cups low chicken or vegetable stock and water to cover beans 1 medium onion, diced 2 whole garlic cloves, smashed One large carrot, peeled and diced One large celery rib, diced 2 ripe, fresh Roma tomatoes, peeled, diced & seeded or one small can of diced tomatoes in juice 2 teaspoons sea salt Fresh ground pepper to taste For Finishing 1/3 cup + 2 Tbs. fresh pressed, robust evoo such as Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company FS17 or Ultra Picual.

In a 6 quart or larger stock pot, add all of the ingredients except the olive oil. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered for approximately 4 hours or until the beans are tender and fully cooked through. Add more water as necessary. Allow the beans to cool completely. In the bowl of a food processor, ladle two cups of cooked beans along with liquid they were cooked in. Add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and process until smooth or desired consistency is reached. Serve at room temperature drizzled with two tablespoons of reserved early harvest, fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil. The spread can be served with crudités, crackers, lavash, pita, or crusty bread.

Makes approximately 2 ½ cups white bean spread.

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