Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Simple White Bean Stew

Summer really has been quite cool this year so stew makes perfect sense. I was in the mood for simple, clean flavours and this really fit the bill. I love beans for their simplicity, and lately I have been making a concerted effort to cook my own and steer away from canned beans. The trick is to get a bag of beans soaking in the morning before you head out of the door, then cook them in the evening as you are noodling around the house. Store the cooked beans in small portions in the freezer and bring them out when you need them.

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups canellini beans
- 1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes, juice and all
- 1 1/4 cup white wine
- water, if needed
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add bay leaves, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook for 5-7 mins, until soft but not brown. Add beans and stir well.
2. Add tomatoes, wine, zest, and lemon juice. Add some water if you want a thinner stew. Season to taste. Simmer, covered, until veggies are cooked (about 20 mins). Remove bay leaves, stir in parsley, and serve with some nice Italian bread.


Jamie said...

Agh. I wish it were cold enough for stews here. Yesterday it was 107 degrees F!

And on a side note, how do you make your photos so professional looking Mine always look pretty bad. Maybe my camera just sucks.

Ben Galewsky said...

Several years ago I bought a pressure cooker. At first I was intimidated by the hissing and thoughts of beans splattered on the ceiling. Five years later it has become a trusted friend in the kitchen. It makes cooking dried beans a snap. It also cooks brown rice like a champ.

Meghan said...

Hm... Do you think that this would work with fresh tomatoes? I have plenty of those kicking around!

Bianca said...

Stew is good anytime of year. But this July has been very, very mild down South (it's rainy and like 80 degrees here now...we're used to temps in the upper 90s or early 100s in July). I could go for a bowl of stew right now.

Sophia.Pflieger said...

I looooove white beans, they are so creamy and are so versatile! Your stew looks so yummy and comforting.

Mary said...

It finally got hot and humid this week in Maine, so no stew for us until it cools off. I love the flavors in this, though. You can't go wrong with bay leaves and lemon.

jd said...

Yay for summer stew - that looks delicious! I just made chili on Monday, and my bf and I have been enjoying it all week...

As for the home-made beans, I definitely have to give you props for that. I've been planning to nix my dependence on the canned stuff, but old habits really do die hard.

Thanks for the tips though! I'll keep them in mind for when I finally make the change :)

the twins said...

that sounds really good, thanks for the recipe.

J said...

Your recipe looks lovely!
As I would like to cook for my kids, is there a substitute for the wine?

Vegan Dad said...

Just use a nice veggie broth.

GloryBug said...

I also have a pressure cooker that I got years ago on a 'as-seen-on-tv' deal. It's called a 'Futura'. It doesn't have any adjustable parts or clamps, but it doesn't have a pressure gauge. I swear by it. I can cook dry beans in about 1/2 hour. When you turn the stove off, they keep cooking. Only problem is that things like lentils often get mushy if cooked for more than about 7 minutes. For how much cooking you do, you should get a pressure cooker.

Catherine said...

I made this today, with a few modifications (I used black beans, pepper instead of celery, etc.). It was delicious :)

Yes, fresh tomatoes work just fine. I used three medium to large tomatoes, then decided that I should throw another one in.

J/Vegan Dad:
I'm a teen myself, so I didn't want to use normal wine. I popped open a bottle of alcohol-removed wine, but it had gone bad, so I used water. Veggie broth would have worked a lot better though; I ended up pouring out the liquid when I went to eat the stew.