Basque White Bean Stew - Recipe
2 pounds dried white beans
1 leek, well-washed and halved lengthwise
1 green pepper, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1. In a large pot or bowl, combine the beans with enough cold water to cover them by 1 to 2 inches. Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. Drain them, and transfer them to a stockpot.
2. Add the leek and peppers to the pot, and then add enough cold water to cover the vegetables by 2 to 3 inches. Bring the contents to a boil over high heat, and cook rapidly for 2 to 3 minutes, skimming any foam from the surface. Reduce the heat, and simmer gently for about 2 hours, adding about 1/4 cup cold water to the pot every 30 minutes (this softens the beans). The beans are done when they are fork-tender.
3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the paprika, and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes longer, until the mixture is well blended. Add it to the beans.
4. Remove the leeks and peppers from the beans, if you prefer, and discard them. Season the stew to taste with salt. Reheat the stew gently, if necessary. Ladle into shallow soup bowls, and serve.