By Marcus Samuelsson | December 21, 2010

Today I’m thinking about the Kwanzaa principle of nia, which means purpose.  The purpose of this holiday is to bring the community together.  Often the beginning of a gathering around food is the hors d’oeuvres, which is why I wanted to share my recipe for White Bean Puree with you.

During your Kwanzaa holiday this year, please hungry guests with Pumpkin Seed Aioli and my hummus-inspired White Bean Puree from Soul of a New Cuisine.  Make sure not to add salt to the beans while they cook, or they won’t soften.  You can make this dip up to 3 days ahead.  Just open the container, set it out with some crunchy vegetables and pita and let your guests dig in!

White Bean Puree Recipe

Servings: Makes 3 3/4 cups


  • 1 cup dried white cannelloni beans, soaked in cold water for 8 hours and drained
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine the beans, bacon, garlic, and mushrooms in a large pot, add water to cover by 1 to 1 1/2 inches, and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until the beans are soft, about 45 minutes.

2. Drain the beans and transfer to a food processor. Add the butter, oil, Parmesan cheese, and lime juice and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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