Creamy three bean stew – healthy comfort food! The stew is totally vegetarian, but is still really high in protein, and the sauce is really rich and creamy.
As you may have noticed, I’m all about the winter warmers at the moment – and it’s technically not even winter yet! Spicy curries, hearty soups, comforting bakes… anything that means we can avoid turning the heating on until November 1st (which is the arbitrary goal we’ve set ourselves, perhaps stupidly – thank goodness for cosy socks). This creamy three bean soup is another winner.
This three bean stew has a rich, thick, creamy sauce (swoooon), and it’s packed with veggies and beans – three kinds, in case you couldn’t have guessed. As I seem to have said many times lately, it’s like comfort food made healthy. This type of meal is going to see me through til March.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s endlessly adaptable. If I’m honest, I had absolutely zero desire to leave the house this morning (I would happily live as a hermit if I didn’t have such lovely friends and family to see), so I made this three bean stew entirely from ingredients I already had in the house. Who doesn’t already have a cupboard full of random tins of beans? And a fridge full of veggies that could do with being used up? Just chuck ’em all in, the more the merrier.
I used mushrooms, courgette and carrots in my three bean stew, but you could use whatever you have on hand. You can also add your own combination of herbs and spices, use different kinds of beans, whatever you fancy. I also used a tin of tomato soup, just to make everything even richer and creamier (…and because I had a tin in the cupboard…) but you could use passata instead if you prefer. Serve it with garlic bread, mashed potato, salad – the world’s your (vegetarian) oyster.
As long as you end up with an amazing bowlful of creamy three bean stew, you’ve done well.
Creamy three bean stew
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, sliced or diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium courgette (zucchini), diced
- 4 medium mushrooms, diced
- 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 400 g tin kidney beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 400 g tinned tomatoes (~ 1⅓ cups)
- 400 g tin cream of tomato soup (~ 1 1/3 cups)
- 150 ml water (~ 1/2 cup)
- 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Black pepper
- Small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp creme fraiche or cream cheese (I used half fat)
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan, and add the diced onion and carrot. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion has softened slightly. Add the garlic, courgette and mushrooms, and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the vegetables are fairly soft.
- Add the three tins of beans, tin of tomatoes, tomato soup, water and crumbled stock cube. Also add the oregano, and season to taste. Bring to a simmer. and cook for around 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to produce a thick sauce. Add the parsley and creme fraiche, mix to combine, and serve warm.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe.