I make a chickpea stew regally, mainly because it’s so tasty but also it’s a great base to add roasted vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers. I can adapt it too buy adding things like harissa paste.
Here I used Butter Beans instead, and it works so beautifully. I like to use good quality beans and chickpeas that come in jars, but tinned will work just fine. Even better, soak dried overnight first.
Use a good quality vegetable stock or homemade, but failing that I use I dried vegetable bouillon powder, I used that to make the ones here.
It’s a spring summer stew, that’s perfect for those less than warm nights we get in the UK. It’s comforting but fresh at the same time.
Butter Bean Stew
2 600g jars of cooked Butterbeans (tinned will be fine too)
2 litres vegetable stock
1 garlic clove
A few springs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
6-8 good sized courgettes mixed colours if you can get them
6 garlic cloves
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
Light olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ cup pine nuts toasted
Mixed fresh herbs, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Pre heat the oven to 180°C
Drain and rinse the butter beans and place in a large pan, cover with the stock.
Bash the garlic glove and add to the pan along with the thyme and olive oil. Give it a stir and bring to a gentle simmer.
Halve the courgettes length ways and roughly chop into 2 inch pieces, place in a large baking tray.
Bash the garlic with the skin on and add to the pan along with the thyme, about 1 tbsp. salt and a good grind of pepper. Slice the lemon into 4 thick slices add those to pan. Drizzle with a little oil and gently mix to combine.
Place in the pre heated oven for about 45 minutes, turning every now and then.
The courgettes should be soft and golden in places once cooked.
While the courgettes are cooking, give the beans a gentle stir now and then and keep on a low heat. The butter beans are quite starchy and will naturally thicken the broth. If it’s not thickening turn the heat up little, but don’t boil them.
Taste the broth for seasoning and add a little salt if necessary and a good grind of black pepper.
When the courgettes are done, the broth should be too.
Serve the butter beans in bowls with courgettes piled on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts, some lemon zest, fresh herbs and drizzle with a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Crusty bread it a great side.