NAVY BEAN STEW

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, white part only, minced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
3 cups precooked navy or cannellini beans, drained *


Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium pot. Add the leek, garlic, salt, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Saute until the leeks are wilted, 5 minutes. Add the stock and bay leaves and bring to a gentle boil.

Add the cooked beans. Cover and simmer over low heat 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the liquid is reduced and the beans are soft and buttery.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs.

*To cook the beans, first pre-soak them for several hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Place them in a pot with enough water to cover them by two to three inches. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for one to hours until cooked.

Serves 4 to 6