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Make-ahead Monday: 1 savory bean soup, 3 delectable dinners

Chef Scott Conant helps you concoct 3 utterly different dishes from 1 key ingredient.
by Donna Freydkin /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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So you're pondering what to cook this week, without breaking the bank, or spending hours you don't have in front of the stove.

Acclaimed chef Scott Conant is here to help for our make-ahead Monday series. He's serving up an Italian bean soup that's hearty and savory, but can also be transformed into a crostini dish, and a sausage and broccoli rabe dinner.

"Beans are one of those ingredients that just taste even better the next day," Conant told Megyn Kelly TODAY.

As you may know, beans are the superheroes of food: they're packed with protein, and are high in fiber. Meaning, you get full and stay full. Who doesn't like that?

But while beans taste amazing in an assortment of dishes, be advised before you braise or bake or boil them. Common mistakes while cooking beans, said Conant, are "seasoning before cooking, overcooking and not storing them in the cooking liquid. Seasoning the beans after they are cooked is vital. Otherwise, the skin will fall off of them."

This soup is soulful and flavor-forward.

Beans are so easily adaptable, as this dish proves.

Your soup now becomes a totally different sausage meal, with a pesto twist.

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