White Bean Stew

It’s easy to get complacent, especially when your busy. And we are all busy right! But one thing I can’t live without is beans. Our family eats A LOT of beans. When we went on vacation over the holidays, we stayed in a condo so we could cook since traveling as a Vegan can be a challenge. When shopping in this foreign country, we couldn’t find canned Garbanzo beans although there was a vast selection of dried beans. I told Stefen we could make our own- This was met by “the look”. You know “the look”, translate - “No way are we going to do that”.  But I insisted and I’m so glad I did. 

I started making the beans that night and -as usual- Stefen stepped in to help. I clearly had no idea what I was doing. Plus the directions on the package were in Spanish.

Stefen made some of the best beans ever. And it was really easy (when he did it).But it really is.

Most beans will have recipes/ cooking directions on the package and I would recommend following these ratios. You can cook beans plain with just water and gussy them up when you cook dishes with them- not unlike simply opening a can. Alternatively, you can cook your beans with vegetable stock, sautéed onions, add herbs and spices to make your beans sing. A single Bay Leaf adds a lot of flavor. 

Even though I got “the look”, it was worth it since I converted Stefen to a “cook your own bean” believer. He now plans a bean of the week! So far we’ve made black beans which we ate with just about everything and white beans which we used in this weeks blog post recipe for White Bean Stew. 

White Bean Stew

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans
  • 2 Carrots -Peeled and Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Celery -Diced
  • 1 Onion -Peel and Sliced
  • 1 Bunch of Kale Tuscan 
  • 2 Cups Sweet Potatoes -Diced
  • 1 quart Vegetable Broth  
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika 
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Miso Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

Basil Puree

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat a large stew pot over medium heat, add the sliced onions, cook and stir to make sure the onions do not burn. If the pan starts to turn dark brown reduce the heat to low. Cook the onions until the are a light brown.
  2. Add vegetable broth to the pot, bring to a boil and add the diced sweet potato, diced carrots and diced celery. Once the stock returns to a boil reduce the heat to low. 
  3. Add cooked, drained beans to the pot, along with the miso, Tamari, granulated garlic, smoked paprika and cornstarch. 
  4. Wash and remove the stem in kale leaves. Cut the leaves into strips and place in the stew. Cook for 20- 30 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be tender. If to the stew becomes to thick add a little more vegetable broth.  
  5. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the basil leaves to the water and cook just until all of the leaves have wilted, it should only take 15-20 seconds. Remove the leaves from the water and rinse under cold water. Gently squeeze the water from the basil leaves. Place the leaves and the cashew cream into a blender, puree until smooth and bright green.
  6. Serving: Portion Stew into bowls with a dollop of Basil Puree on top.

Notes:  

Although this recipe is not written for a crock pot, I love the idea of crock pot cooking but have not really done much of it so if you want to throw everything into the crock pot, you can. I did sauté the onion with a little vegetable stock before hand, otherwise I just put it all in the crock pot and went to yoga! You will want to add the cornstarch at the end when the liquid is hot, then stir it in and let cook for another 15-20 minutes.

The Basil Cream is way more than you’ll need to garnish your stew but it’s really impossible to make just a little in the Vitamix Blender. We made pasta and used it as the sauce which was delicious!