Saturday, January 2, 2010

White Bean and Vegetable Stew with Red Wine Sauce

One of the recommendations in E2L is to eat beans multiple times per day. I find this to be an easy thing to do since I love beans of all types. However, I get bored eating the same exact recipe over and over again (which you may have guessed if you have been reading my blog for long).

Last night I was looking for a different way to make beans and came across an interesting recipe in “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” that I hadn’t made in years. The original version uses 6 tablespoons of butter (gasp), celery root and leeks, which most people don’t keep on hand. I modified the recipe to use ingredients more common ingredients and removed the fat. Here is what we had tonight for dinner along with another big green salad (recipe to follow).

White Bean and Vegetable Stew with Red Wine Sauce
“adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”
Makes 4 servings


1 pound Great Northern beans, picked through and soaked overnight
3 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
2 cloves garlic, peeled (allow to stand 10 minutes before adding to pot so allicin can develop)
2 large organic carrots, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
½ red onion, peeled and finely diced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon thyme, dried
1 cup good quality dry red wine (I used Amarone)
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely minced


Cook the beans in plenty of water and remove the protein foam that forms on the top. When the beans stop foaming add the bay leaves, cloves and garlic in a cheesecloth bundle since you will be removing them. Cook until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes. The exact amount of time will depend on the age of your dried beans.

When the beans are tender add the carrot, celery, onion, salt, pepper and thyme and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. If the bean pot has a lot of liquid remaining you will want to remove some of it so the final dish won’t be too “soupy”.

Simmer the wine in a separate saucepan until it has reduced by half. This will cook off the majority of alcohol and concentrate the flavor. Add the wine to the beans and cook for at least 5 minutes so the flavors can marry.

Serve hot with fresh parsley on top. The flavor of the dish will be better the next day.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 393.54
Calories From Fat (3%) - 11.37

Total Fat - 1.36g
Saturated Fat - 0.39g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 364.55mg
Potassium - 1595.96mg
Total Carbohydrates - 65.93g
Fiber - 20.82g
Sugar - 5.03g
Protein - 21.08g


How does this compare to the original version? Well, it has been more than a few years since I made the original recipe so I can’t exactly compare them. However, this version has a nice subtle flavor. I found it to be a nice warm and comforting meal tonight on this cold and windy evening. The next time I make this I will process some of the beans to thicken the stew.

Each serving of this soup contains approximately 7,250IU of vitamin A, 210mg of calcium, 6mg of iron, 470mcg of folate, 90mcg of vitamin K, 450mg of phosphorus, 190mg of magnesium and 12mcg of selenium. Quite a bit of nutrition for a bowl of comforting bean goodness I think.

Unrelated note:

The first day back on the 6-week plan of E2L was quite easy actually. I didn’t feel the slightest bit deprived and it was good to refocus on eating nothing but healthy whole food. The modifications I needed to make for the hubby were very simple.

One thing that I had not entirely anticipated is that I am going to need to feed the hubby an evening smoothie snack to make certain he gets enough calories. When you cut way back on the whole grains and fats there aren’t many calories consumed. I think for the coming few weeks I am going to be adding more in the way of seeds and nuts to Dan’s meals to keep his calories up.


  1. This dish sounds great too. I'm putting it on my list of dishes to make for E2L.

  2. Rose,

    It had a nice flavor but I would like the sauce a little thicker. The original recipe mounted the butter to thicken the sauce. Maybe a little arrowroot slurry would correct the texture without fat or much added carb.

    talk to you later,

  3. Looks good! I love stews and soups during these cold winter months.

  4. newlywednewlyveg,

    It is crazy cold and windy here today. I don't think we even reached 32 degrees fahrenheit today. Definitely a bean stew sort of day.

    have a great evening,

  5. Would this recipe be easily adapted to make in a slow cooker?

  6. Janelle,

    Beans cook really well in a slow cooker. I would make them in water with bay leaves only though. Then add the remaining ingredients to the cooker when the beans are soft (check them after 3 hours if pre soaked).

    The reason I would wait on the other ingredients is that acidic foods (which is almost everything else in the recipe) when added to uncooked beans causes the exterior to never quite get soft. If you are okay with that toss it all in and cook it for at least 4 hours before checking the bean texture.

    talk to you later,

  7. Thanks for posting this recipe. It's cold and gray here too so last night ended up being butternut squash & black bean chili. Something about stews and chilies on cold evenings that's so comforting. I am curious about the clove flavor in this. Interesting. I never think to use cloves honestly.

  8. Heather,

    The cloves were in the original recipe. Can't say it would have been something I would have added on my own. Since they remain whole and are removed they don't impart a big flavor. There is a subtle little something in the background that you can't identify as clove. Or at least I couldn't.


  9. What an interesting recipe! I love bean stews and soups of all kinds, but I would never have thought of adding cloves to a vegetable and bean stew. Could you really taste the cloves or did they blend in well?


  10. Oh--haha. I just read the rest of the comments and saw you answered my question. Whoops! Sorry about that :-)



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