Cannellini beans, which are the same size as kidney beans, are white and have a rich texture when cooked. Use protein-rich Italian cannellini beans as a base for either vegetarian or meaty soups, stews and chilies. You can also transform refried cannellini beans into burrito and quesadilla fillings. Cooking with dried beans is an inexpensive way to create hearty and flavorful meals. You'll need to plan ahead when cooking with dried beans, as the legumes have to be soaked prior to being used in recipes.
Place 2 cups of dried cannellini beans in a large bowl, as the legumes will expand when soaked in water. Cover the beans with cold water. Place plastic wrap over the bowl.
Set the bowl of beans in a refrigerator and allow them to soak for a minimum of five hours; soak the beans overnight if you plan to use them the next day.
Drain the beans and pour them into a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the beans for 20 minutes.
Drain the beans and cover them with more cold water. Bring the water to a boil.
Add any desired seasonings to the beans, such as bay leaves, garlic powder, salt, pepper or thyme, along with 3 tbsp. of olive oil. Bring the water down to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook the beans for 1 1/2- 2 hours, or until they are tender. Use the beans and stock to create a soup, or drain the beans and reserve the stock to use later.