- 1 1/4 cups dried cranberry beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Put beans in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches cool water. Soak at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours, adding more water if necessary. Drain and rinse.
Place drained beans in a saucepan and cover with 2 inches cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer beans until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, adding more water as needed. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in onions, carrots, garlic and bay leaf; cook onions until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper. Add enough stock to the pot to cover beans with liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has reduced slightly, stirring often, about 30 minutes.
Bring remaining 1 cup stock and milk to a boil in a saucepan; whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly until thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Divide polenta between serving bowls and top with bean mixture.