Occhiolina Beans with a Aromatic Vegetables
Serves 8-10
For all of the ingredients, please use only those that are organic or pesticide free.
1 pound occhiolina beans, falgeolet, cannellini, or navy will work fine
1 sweet onion, peeled and cut into quarters
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
1 bay leaf
  sea salt
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly slice
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin coins
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  sea salt or flaky finishing salt such at maldon or Himalayan
  freshly ground black pepper
  extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the beans
Rinse and pick through the dry beans. Remove any small stones or beans that appear unseemly.
Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with purified water. Allow to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
During the soaking time, the beans will have absorbed most of the water and will have plumped considerably. Drain the beans in a colander.
Transfer the beans to a large sauce pan or dutch oven and cover with fresh purified water by about 2 inches. Set over high heat.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, and bay leaf to the beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the beans are tender. This should take 60-90 minutes. Skim off any foam that comes to the surface during cooking and add water if necessary. When the beans are fully cooked, there should be a scant amount of liquid remaining in the pot.
When the beans are nearly finished cooking, go ahead and add the salt. Start with about 1/2 teaspoon and add more as needed. I used a bit less than 2 teaspoons.
Cool to room temperature. Remove the vegetables from the beans.
Prepare the mirepoix
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently to prevent them from burning.
Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for another 10-15 minutes until they are fork tender. Season with sea salt and pepper and allow to cool to room temperature.
Add the cooled mirepoix to the cooled and seasoned beans along with about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Gently stir to combine.
Serve at room temperature, cold, or warm with anything you desire or completely on its own.