Veggie Stew

There’s something therapeutic about shelling beans. It’s this good ol’ hands-on feeling, like I need me a porch, a rocking chair, and some lemonade. That I do.
By Vanessa Pastore

Veggie Stew

There’s something therapeutic about shelling beans. It’s this good ol’ hands-on feeling, like I need me a porch, a rocking chair, and some lemonade. That I do.

These, along with the rest of my haul, were destined to become the first stew of the season:

Veggie Stew
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
There's something therapeutic about shelling beans. It's this good ol' hands-on feeling, like I need me a porch, a rocking chair, and some lemonade. That I do.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Medium yellow onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 cups cranberry beans, shelled
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tiny jalapeño pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Shredded fresh basil ( a good fistful)
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 cup reserved cooking liquid from beans
  • Olive oil for cooking the vegetables
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fill a large stock pot with warm water, and set on high heat to boil. Once it boils, add the 2 cups of shelled cranberry beans- do not add salt! It makes the beans take longer to cook / toughens them. Turn the heat to medium, where you should reach a rolling boil, and let boil for 45 minutes or so. Taste the beans for texture at around 40 minutes, and keep testing. You want them to be soft and creamy- and that can take up to an hour. It's worth the wait. Tough beans, while an awesome comeback, are not very tasty.
Meanwhile:
  1. Chop the onion, and put your garlic through a garlic press. If you don't have a garlic press, you should get one (but we'll let you chop it this time.) Like a friend of mine said: "it will change your life." It has. It intensifies the garlic flavor, interestingly enough, which is perfect for this application.
  2. Chop your carrots and bell peppers into roughly the same sized pieces- set aside.
  3. Slice your zucchini into rounds, dice your jalapeño and set aside
  4. In a large deep pot, cover the bottom with olive oil, turn to medium heat, and add your onions and garlic.
  5. Once the onions have softened, add the bell pepper and carrots, and let cook until slightly softened, around 7 minutes.
  6. Add the 2 cups veggie stock, marjoram, and salt & pepper to taste. Let the carrots & peppers get tender, about another 5-7 minutes.
  7. Add the cooked beans, zucchini rounds, diced jalapeño, and fresh basil. If the mixture seems on the dry side, add the reserved bean cooking liquid here.
  8. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt/pepper if necessary.
  9. The zucchini takes very little time to cook, and the beans are already done, you want to heat everything through and incorporate the flavors.
  10. Garnish with fresh parsley, the underdog of the herb world, under-rated and delicious.
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