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Recipe for White Bean Stew with Pumpkin and Kale

adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cannellini beans soaked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 white onion stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • *1 bunch kale chopped
  • *2 cups sugar or cheese pumpkin or winter squash chopped
  • *6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • *2 tablespoons butter
  • *1 shallot minced
  • *1 cup dry red wine
  • *Himalayan or sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • *a little crème fraîche for garnish-optional
  • *minced fresh herbs such as parsley dill, and thyme for garnish-optional

Instructions

  • 1. Start by placing 2 cups of dried white cannellini beans in a large bowl. Cover with water and soak overnight or for at least 4 hours. Pick out any beans that have floated to the surface and then drain.
  • 2. Put the beans in a large soup pot with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface. Lower the heat and add the bay leaves, 1/2 onion with cloves, and parsley. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  • 3. While the beans are simmering, heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat and then add the chopped celery, carrot and kale. Add a little water to the pan and then cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  • 4. Back to the beans: remove the onion, cloves, and bay leaves. Pour off the cooking water and and mix 1 teaspoon of salt into the cooked beans. Add the cooked vegetables and the chopped pumpkin, along with 6 cups of water or vegetable stock (chicken stock could also be used, but then obviously, it's not vegetarian). Cook over low-medium heat for another 1/2-1 hour, until the beans are quite tender (the veggies will be very soft at this point). Add a little more stock or water as needed.
  • 5. In your skillet, melt the butter with the shallots. Cook for several minutes over medium heat, and then add the wine. Simmer until the wine is reduced by 1/2-3/4 and then add what remains to the beans. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • 6. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche and minced herbs, if desired, and serve alone or with a big thick slice of your favorite healthy bread. Mmmm...