THIS canellini bean stew makes a tasty midweek supper using tinned beans but can also be made with dried beans soaked overnight and cooked ahead.

It’s a meat-free meal and especially tasty served on char-grilled sourdough with lots of extra-virgin olive oil but equally delicious with roast chicken or lamb chops.

The flavour comes from the aromatics – sage, rosemary and bay – and also lots of garlic and as much chilli as you fancy. This can be baked in an oven-proof dish with a good-fitting lid or tightly covered with foil.

Ingredients

Feeds 4

400g cannellini or borlotti beans (tinned or dried, soaked overnight and cooked through)
1 small or half a medium red onion, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 red chilli, whole but pierced (or a dried poblano or ancho chile)
2-3 plum tomatoes, halved, or a 8-10 cherry tomatoes, pierced (to stop them exploding)
30g fresh sage leaves, shredded
25g fresh rosemary, leaves only
3-4 fresh bay leaves
80ml vegetable stock
45 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds of black pepper

Method

Turn the oven on to 160C.
Put the beans, onion, garlic, herbs and tomato in an oven-proof dish, mix well, tuck in the chilli, pour over the stock and extra-virgin olive oil, season, cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil, and bake for 1-2 hours. orYou could stew it on the hob in a lidded saucepan,  just be sure to stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom.
Remove a quarter to one-third of the bean mix, including a bit of everything except the bay leaves, blend to a puree, then fold back through the dish.
Taste and adjust seasoning, serve with a drizzle of olive oil on toasted sourdough, or as a side with most cooked meats.

© Linda Galloway 2020