Serves 4 as large servings, or more as an appetizer or side dish
1 cup dried tarbais, flageolet, or other white beans
2 leeks, thinly sliced
15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh sage
3/4 tsp dried thyme
Vegetable broth, as needed
Salt and pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1. Soak the beans overnight, and then drain and add to a soup pot. Cover with water by a few inches, and simmer until tender (depends on the bean, but count on 45-90 minutes). Set a colander over a bowl, and drain the beans, reserving the bean broth.
2. Rinse out the soup pot, and heat a generous drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, and cook until well softened and a little browned. Add back the beans, tomatoes, sage, and thyme, along with a couple of cups of the reserved bean broth. Add more bean broth and/or vegetable oil to thin the soup o the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Remove the sage sprigs before serving.
3. Just before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar, taste, and adjust seasoning.