Carla Hall's Creamy White Beans with Caramelized Onions and Smoked Salt

1 hr 15 minsCook Time

1 hr 15 minsTotal Time


  • 13 oz dried northern white beans or other small white beans, picked over, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/4 tsp chile flakes
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, for serving


Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil hard for 40 minutes. Replenish the water if it falls below the beans. Drain well and return to the saucepan.


Cover the beans with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the onion and garlic and simmer, swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the beans are tender enough to be smashed with back of a spoon, about 25 minutes.


Stir in the smoked salt, celery seeds, and chile flakes. For a thicker stew consistency, smash or puree some beans using a fork or immersion blender. Stir in the oil and top with the parsley. Serve hot.


Make Ahead:

The beans can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. When you reheat them in the microwave or on the stove, stir in some water to loosen them up a bit.