White Bean Purée

Serve this sumptuous, velvety purée with hearty main dishes, or spread over pizza with fresh tomato slices.


  • 1 ½ cups (288 g) dried great northern beans dried
  • 1 medium (196 g) white onion
  • 1 medium (82 g) carrot
  • 1 (70 g) celery stalk, small dice
  • 1 small (1 small) garlic clove
  • 2 sprigs (2 sprigs) fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 small (2 small) dried bay leaf
  • 5 cups (1.2 l) chicken stock, more if needed for cooking beans
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 small (1 small) garlic clove
  • 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil


  1. Soak the beans overnight or, alternately, use the quick soak method, as described below: Place them in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. Drain the beans and transfer them to a 2-quart saucepan with the onion, carrot, celery, smashed garlic, fresh thyme leaves sprigs, bay leaf, and five cups of the stock.
  3. Season the beans with salt and pepper and bring them to a boil over high heat. Immediately lower the heat and simmer for 90 minutes, or until very tender. If the mixture becomes dry, add some additional stock or water. Drain the beans in a colander. Pick out and discard the fresh thyme leaves sprigs and bay leaf.
  4. To finish the purée, warm the beans and vegetables in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cream, fresh thyme leaves leaves, and minced garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high, bring the beans to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook until the cream is reduced and almost dry on the beans and the beans are heated through, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the bean mixture to the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  6. Select Variable 1.
  7. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  8. Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
  9. Add a few drops of oil until the purée glistens slightly. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  10. If making in advance, cool the purée in a large stainless steel bowl and set it in another bowl filled with ice water. Transfer the beans to an airtight container after they’ve cooled and refrigerate them for up to 2 days. To warm the purée before you serve it, put a thin layer of water in a sauce pan, bring the bean purée to room temperature, then warm it in a pan over medium-high heat.

Chef's Notes

  • Salt and pepper as needed