This delicious bean recipe was provided by our good friend, Jan Van Oosterhout. It is adapted from a traditional recipe for Sephardic beans from the cookbook, Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes From Jewish Communities Around the World by Gil Marks. Thank you, Jan!
5 cups cannellini, navy or other dry white beans
1 bay leaf
6 T olive oil
6-8 leeks, cleaned and cut cross-wise into half inch rings
4 cups tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste
1 ½ T kosher salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
Juice of 1-2 lemons, optional
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Rinse and sort beans, discarding any shards or discolored pieces. Put in a bowl with bay leaf and enough water to cover by two inches and let soak overnight. In the morning, drain beans, discard bay leaf and place in slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients, plus one 15 oz. can of water. Cook on high for 6 hours.