Soak beans overnight in a medium bowl with 1 qt. water; or boil in a medium pot with 1 qt. water 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 4 hours.
Halve fennel lengthwise, then thinly slice lengthwise, discarding core. In a medium saucepan, sauté fennel with 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat until edges brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl; chill until used.
Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, the carrot, and onion to pan; saute until starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add beans and their liquid, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, stirring occasionally and adding a little more water if beans start to look dry. Stir in salt, 2 tsp. thyme, and the fennel slices; return to a simmer and cook about 10 more minutes.
Chop enough fennel fronds to make 1 tbsp. and stir into beans with remaining 1/2 tsp. thyme.
*Buy from nativeseeds.org, ranchogordo.com, or anasazibeans.com
this bean dish was wholesome and toothsome. the tasty beans were certainly a plus, but i believe any kind of bean would be delicious in this simple and easy to make dish. the fennel surprised me...one doesn't usually see it is southwestern cooking, but it added a nice flavor and texture.
Excellent flavor and tepary beans make it special. Tepary beans can sometimes take 3+ hours to cook. I cooked the beans separately and in the last 45 minutes added the sauteed carrots & onions and 2 tsp dried thyme and in the last 10 minutes, the sauteed fennel and salt to taste. The broth is fabulous - served with crusty bread to sop up the flavors. Will make again for sure!
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Join our newsletter for free recipes, healthy living inspiration, and special offers.