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.