Warming Winter Bean Stew
This is an easy store cupboard recipe, quick and especially if you make from tinned mixed beans. If you have more time or you’re good at planning ahead use a mix of dried beans that should be soaked overnight before cooking. A pressure cooker will speed cooking up.
It’s also a dish where you can add in any chopped winter veg you have that need using up- leeks, carrots, swede, potatoes.Warming, filling and full of healthy fibre.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins (if using tinned beans)
Olive oil for frying
Two large onions
4 cloves of garlic
Chopped carrots, leeks and any other winter veg you have to hand
Dried Herbes de Provence or oregano, bouquet garni or sprigs of thyme and rosemary
A 400 g tin of precooked mixed beans, or soaked and precooked dried beans
A 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
OPTIONAL: Cheese for topping, fresh herbs to finish
Chop the onion and fry until soft in the olive oil, add in the chopped garlic and cook until soft, add in all the other chopped veg. as they start to soften add in the dried herbs and tomato paste and stir in well. Stir in the drained, beans making sure they are well coated in the tomato mixture. Add vegetable stock until you have the desired consistency. This can be served either as thick stew or a warming soup. Stir in fresh herbs right at the end (if using).
Sprinkle with grated cheese and pop under the grill and serve with fresh bread and a winter salad. Or if you are feeling really naughty, some hot buttery garlic bread .
Leftover stew can be mixed with some cooked pasta and extra vegetable stock or tomato juice and some shredded cabbage to make a minestrone -style soup.
I freeze left over parmesan crusts and add them in when cooking for extra flavour – don’t forget to fish them out before serving though!
A warming fruity red will be great with the cooked tomato and herb flavours, in Bordeaux look for a Cote de Bordeaux wine, try Château Biac - if you love it stay tuned we'll be visiting them in in the new year - more details soon! Dare I suggest you branch out and move away from traditional Bordeaux? Look for a Syrah perhaps. It's a grape variety known for its spicy notes so perfect for winter warmers. Traditionally found in the Côtes du Rhone or Languedoc, but there are a few rogue producers planting it in Bordeaux. Look for Les Truffières 100% Syrah from sister wine makers at Château Thieulley. They are certified Bee Friendly too!