I always soak and cook my own beans but this recipe from the New York Times for Simple Beans on Toast gave me a great idea. Add mirepoix (onions, carrots, garlic and celery) to the cooking process. Then, make a spread out of some of it and use the rest for whatever. In this case, I did beans on toast. Topped with more beans. It is delightful and definitely going into the repertoire. Here is my adapted version.
For the beans:
1 cup of uncooked white beans (I like cannellini beans for this), soaked overnight and drained
1 small onion
1 big carrot
1 big stalk of celery
2 garlic cloves
1 3″piece of kombu
Soak the beans overnight. Drain the soaking water and rinse.
Very small dice the onion, carrot and celery into roughly the same size. Aim for about the same amount of each. Press the garlic.
Add the mirepoix into a big cooking pot with 1/4 cup water and sauté on low heat until just softening, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the beans and kombu and cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, partly covered, for an hour or more until the beans are tender and al dente. (Add more water, if the liquid starts to look too low.)
Drain the beans, reserving the cook liquid. Let cool.
Add 1/2 the beans to the processor or Vitamix and process until it is smooth, like a spread. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to get the texture that you makes sense to you.
To make “Beans on Toast,” toast up some bread. Smear the bean spread and top with extra beans and vegetables. Enjoy!