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Author Notes: Since my pantry is full of all sorts of dried beans that I don’t use nearly enough, here is a recipe for white bean stew with pumpkin that I adapted from the lovely book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
A little warning: if you use dried beans as suggested, this is not a quick stew to make. But I prefer dried beans over canned because I believe the whole soaking business makes them much more digestible.
That being said, you may substitute canned beans if you like (you’ll need 4 cups/2 cans)- you’ll skip the part about simmering the beans at the beginning of the recipe. You will start by sautéing the veggies right in your soup pot, then add the drained canned beans, pumpkin and stock, and cook for just about 30 minutes. Finish with the shallots and wine, garnish, and serve. Quick and easy, but probably not as tasty as the longer version. —WinnieAb
- 2 cups cannellini beans, soaked
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 white onion, stuck with 2 cloves
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 bunch kale or other dark leafy green, tough stems removed, chopped
- 2 cups sugar pumpkin or winter squash, chopped
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Back to the beans: remove the onion, cloves, and bay leaves. Pour off the cooking water and and mix 1 tsp. 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). 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.
- 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.
- Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche and minced herbs, if desired, and serve alone or with a big thick slice of your favorite bread.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Beans