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1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth, onion, and vanilla bean to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Discard vanilla bean.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and flour. Whisk into broth mixture. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.
3. Add beans to broth mixture. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes more or until beans are crisp-tender. Ladle into bowls. If desired, garnish with steamed green beans and serve with Herbed Sourdough Breadsticks. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.
1. Place green beans in a steamer basket. Cover and steam over boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Cut half of a 2-inch sourdough baguette lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Cut into 1-inch-wide sticks. Brush cut surfaces evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Place on baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 16 minutes or until golden.