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Shuli's Tuscan-Inspired Butter Beans Stew

Use the freshest ingredients you can find to make this recipe. We like the large lima beans from Rancho Gordo, but you can substitute almost any kind of bean.   

(Serves 4-6)

¼ cup olive oil
1.5 cup white onion, cut in 1” cubes
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. French gray salt
½ tsp. whole dried thyme leaves
1.5 cup red tomatoes, cut in 1” cubes
1 cup dried large butter beans (Lima beans), soaked for 24 hours and drained; or 16 oz. of any canned white beans.
1.5 cup celeriac (celery root), cut in 1” cubes
1.5 cup celery stalk, chopped
1.5 cup carrots, chopped
1 bunch of Lacinato (“dinosaur”) kale, chopped
8 cups boiling water (4 cups if using canned beans)
¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
Cheddar cheese (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil.
Add onion and bay leaf and sauté for a few minutes, until onion is fragrant but not browned.
Add garlic and sauté for another few minutes.
Add thyme and sauté for another minute.
Add tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Add all the rest of the ingredients except the kale and black pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add about 8 cups (or 4 cups if you are using canned beans) boiling water.
Cover the pot and cook over low to medium heat for about 4 hours (or one hour if using canned beans), checking from time to time and adding hot water to thicken as needed. If the stew seems too soupy, uncover it until some if the liquid cooks off.
When all ingredients are completely soft, add the kale and cook for 5 minutes or until it is soft.
Add black pepper and serve hot, with cheddar cheese on top if desired.

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