I’m a bad saver. I wasn’t always but then I discovered expensive French cheese and Jamon from Spain, not to mention buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy. That stuff is really good. Occasionally my pay will go on a vintage milk bottle (don’t get TC started on my prop collection) or a pretty new dress but generally I like to spend my money on really good food and wine. It makes me happy. I know this isn’t the case for everybody and in fact I try and make my recipes as accessible and affordable as I can, considering the title of this blog, but I think it’s fair to say that (almost) everybody struggles at the end of pay month no matter what they choose to spend their money on. This is when this little beauty of a dish comes in. Canned beans are cheap. They fill you up, are high in fiber and a great source of protein. A superfood some would say. You should almost have everything in your pantry for this dish but if not then it won’t cost you more than $10 to buy. Did I mention that this also feeds four hungry people?
Feel free to play around with the vegetables in the stew, most things will work here, diced potato is a good addition too. I grow my own herbs so I don’t have to spend money on them but don’t worry too much if you don’t have parsley. It’s just a nice fresh touch that can be easily missed. I like to use chickpeas and borlotti beans but almost any canned beans do the job.
Place a casserole dish over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for 3 minutes, or until onion is starting to soften, but not brown.
Add carrot and zucchini and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes to the dish along with bay leaves, sea salt, chilli flakes, red wine vinegar and white wine. Cook for 10 minutes until starting to thicken. Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and borlotti beans and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Divide stew into bowls, dollop with a spoonful of yoghurt, sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread.