Nourishing white beans stew, perfect for cold fall/winter days. It is simple to make and only requires one bowl. It’s kid-friendly, vegan and gluten-free, not to mention nutritious and budget-friendly at the same time.
This simple white bean stew is a classic family recipe that has been around for generations. During the Second World War my grandma’s family didn’t have a great variety of foods to choose from, so white beans (alongside chickpeas) were regularly at the table.
WHAT YOU NEED:
White beans – for this recipe I like to use skinless white beans that stores sell around here. They get cooked for about an hour (max) without having to presoak them first. Plus skin-free beans do so much better for sensitive guts. If you are curious how to de-skin beans at home look at this video (external link to YT). However, you can use regular white beans or canned white beans for an even quicker dinner. Just one note, if you use white beans with skin on the texture and look of your stew will definitely change, but the taste will be the same.
Vegetable oil – I’ve used olive oil (extra virgin), but any vegetable fat will do.
Onions – I’ve used regular white onion, but any type of onion goes well with beans.
Carrots – one thing is certain for a European dish – carrots are best friends with onions and garlic. True fact!
Red bell pepper – the red peppers (and paprika) are the secret weapon of this meal. They wrap around the beans, creating a dreamy sweetness no other vegetable can provide.
Tomatoes – for this specific recipe, I’ve used ½ canned tomatoes, but if you have juicy raw tomatoes, that’s even better.
Spearmint – another secret ingredient for this traditional meal is fresh (or dried) spearmint. If you do not have the so called lamb mint on hand, a regular fresh mint is just as good. I highly recommend you do not skip that ingredient as it creates a unique taste for the beans.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
Simple White Beans Stew
- 2 cups white beans, skinless/or pre-soaked
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- ½ can tomatoes, or 2 raw
- 1 onion head, cleaned
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil of choice
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp spearmint, fresh (or just mint)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 cups of water, or more as needed
- Wash red pepper, carrots, garlic, onions and tomatoes (if using fresh) under cold water, peel well and chop into small pieces. If using canned tomatoes, add them with the white beans (step 3)
- In a regular cooking pan (with lid) place olive oil, paprika and add the minced vegetables. Let simmer on low to medium heat until vegetables turn soft (approx. 5 min). Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Then, add white beans (presoaked/ skinless or canned) and water, stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium/low and let simmer until white beans and/or vegetables are cooked. Stir frequently and add more water as needed to reach desired creaminess.
- 10 minutes before removing from stove top, add salt, black pepper and spearmint (mint).
- Serve warm, topped with some hot paprika if desired (optional).
2) If using canned beans, cooking time will reduce drastically. The water quantity as well might need adjustment. In addition I would add 4 cans of beans to make a bigger meal.