We’re a family of broth-lovers, and the rich broth in this dish is at the very top of my list of favorites. Bordelaise sauce traditionally is a rich, velvety French wine sauce usually based on butter, dry red wine, and shallots, and the broth in this recipe is enhanced by the sweetness of carrots and the umami of mushrooms for impressive depth of flavor. Great northern beans are my favorite white beans, and when they’re bathed in my favorite broth, I call that a perfect meal. You’re going to want some crusty bread to go with this.


3 tablespoons nondairy butter, such as Miyoko’s

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup diced shallots or red onion

6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon brandy

1 cup vegetable broth or 1 cup water plus 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon No Beef Base

2 cans white beans, such as great northern or cannellini, including liquid

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fruity balsamic vinegar (your best)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Parsley sprigs for garnish


  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the carrots and onions. Cook and stir on medium heat for five minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Cook and stir for another five minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, wine, brandy, and broth. Cook and stir for another 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are very tender and the liquid is somewhat reduced.
  4. Add the beans with their liquid and heat through. Taste for salt and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic and most of the parsley. Garnish each serving with the remaining chopped parsley and parsley sprigs.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.