A great Italian type bean stew that we grew up on, was this hearty Italian stew that will take the chill out of any blustery day we had in Upstate NY. Fresh fennel adds a sweet addition to the sauce and the beans are perfectly seasoned. Because it's between a soup and stew we called it stoop!
Tuscan White Bean Italian Stew
1 can (about 14 ounces) fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 can (15 ounces) any kind of white beans, or use garbanzo beans rinsed and drained (I sometimes use one of each)
Hot pepper sauce
Cut off and reserve 1/4 cup chopped feathery fennel tops. Chop bulb into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped fennel bulb and garlic, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle rosemary and pepper over chicken; add to saucepan. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and broth, bring to a boil. Cover, simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans, simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce. Pour soup into bowls, top with reserved fennel tops and garnish with cheese, hot pepper sauce and basil. Serve with warm crusty thick Italian Bread.
Optional: we would add 1 cup leftover cooked white rice or cut up vermicelli pasta if the stew was thin sauce, or just sop up the sauce with bread.