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Spanish Bean Stew

Crostini are a great addition to this stew and take only minutes to prepare. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Cut a baguette into 1/2-inch slices, brush with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 5 minutes. Peel a clove of garlic and rub it onto each warm slice of bread. Serve alongside or on top of the stew.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 leek, white portion only, halved, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. Spanish or Hungarian paprika
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans (each 15 oz.) kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Prepare the onion
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and transfer half of the onion to a blender. Add the broth, process until smooth and set aside.

Finish the stew
Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the carrot and leek to the remaining onion and sauté until the leek is tender, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the paprika and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the green beans, kidney beans and pureed onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Season the stew with salt and pepper, divide among warmed soup bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).