Tonight I had a special guest coming for dinner so I decided to make a special dish! This person also has been exhausted from several days of running around and filling obligations so I wanted to cook something comforting and cozy for a relaxing evening. My lovely guest said the meal was “satisfying, delicious, and hearty – but not too heavy”.. what else could be better to pamper a weary traveler?
White Bean and Spinach Stew
Time: 1 hour Servings: 4-6
- 1 large or 2 small red, white or yellow onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 4-6 white mushrooms
- 1 zucchini
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups of water plus one generous tablespoon Better Than Bouillon
- 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp parsley and 1 tbsp herbs de Provence
- 2 15.5 oz cans small white beans
- 2-3 cups baby spinach
- If you don’t have onions, use 3-4 cloves of garlic instead. Be careful not to brown because this will make garlic bitter
- I happened to use the vegetables I had on hand. You could also use bell peppers or potatoes if that’s what you have/prefer
- If you don’t have Better than Bouillon use boxed chicken broth instead (2 cups)
- Instead of small white beans you can use cannellini beans, kidney beans or any other kind of bean you have/like. Personally I like smaller beans better because they hold together better and are more fun to eat.
- to make this vegetarian/vegan, use water and salt or vegetable broth instead of the Better than Bouillon
Add olive oil to your large pot and bring to medium heat. Dice your onion and add. Meanwhile, peel your carrots and cut into small chunks. When onions turn translucent, add carrots. If you have time, let this cook until onions start to brown, stirring frequently so that they don’t burn (should take about 20 minutes). If you’re in a rush, you can cook for only 5 minutes just so that they’re soft.
Meanwhile, wash your zucchini and mushrooms.
Cut mushrooms into eighths and zucchini into half circles. Once carrots and onions are slightly browned, add your crushed tomatoes, water, and Better Than Bouillon. Note that you can always add more water if you desire a soupier consistency. Bring to a gentle simmer, add seasoning. Let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Taste and see if you need to add any spices (or a little sugar if the tomatoes are acidic)
When you’re about 15 minutes away from being ready to eat, open, rinse and add your beans. Let heat, then add the mushrooms.
Once they start to change color, add your zucchini. Take your spinach and, once zucchini begin to get soft, add to the mix.
Let cook for several minutes until all vegetables are soft. Serve and enjoy!