Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Brothy Beans

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Beans shouldn’t just be relegated to a side dish. Let them be the star of a hearty but light meal full of flavor by slowly cooking dry beans with tons of aromatics. You may have extra bean liquid left over, as you need a generous amount to cook the beans properly. Simply use it in place of vegetable stock in another recipe or add to your next pot of beans.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 7 hr 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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  1. Combine the beans, fennel, tomato, 6 cloves garlic and the lemon zest in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Tie the thyme, parsley stems and 1/2 leek together with kitchen twine; add to the pot. Add 4 1/2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, 7 to 9 hours.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Discard the leek bundle from the beans and stir well. Gently smash the garlic against the side of the slow cooker; season with salt and pepper. Let stand uncovered.
  3. Thinly slice the remaining 1/2 leek into matchsticks. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and crisp, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer the crispy leek to paper towels with a slotted spoon; season with salt. Reserve the leek oil.
  4. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and brush both sides with the leek oil. Pour any excess leek oil into the beans. Broil the bread, turning once, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Rub with the remaining garlic clove and season with salt.
  5. Stir the lemon juice into the beans. Divide among bowls with a slotted spoon; pour some bean broth into each bowl. Drizzle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Top with the crispy leek, chives and chopped parsley. Serve with the bread.

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