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This quick ragout of white beans and sweet summer tomatoes in a robustly flavored broth might just be favorite recipe of the summer. The tomatoes — just barely cooked — burst in your mouth when you bite into them, and fresh herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar liven the dish up. Serve it as a meatless main course, ideally with toasted garlic bread for sopping up the broth, or as a side dish to grilled meat.
If you want beans with a nice bite to them and wish to avoid the additives, the only way is to soak and cook the beans yourself.
Begin by cooking the onions in olive oil until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic (I always use my garlic press) and cook for a minute more.
Stir in the cherry tomatoes.
Then add the beans, chicken broth, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar.
Simmer for a few minutes to warm the beans and tomatoes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh herbs right before serving so they keep their pretty green color.