Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's a Vegan World: Italian

White Bean Stew

Vaishali, over at the Holy Cow vegan blog, has the genius idea of hosting an Italian food challenge this month. February is the perfect month for this challenge, at least for those of us who live where the weather is cold and inhospitable. What better way to deal with the last lingering days of cold than to stuff ourselves with rich flavours and satisfying carbs?

For my entry to the challenge I made this white bean and tomato stew, which is flavourful, healthy and satisfying. To make it a bit more decadent and, well, carby. I baked up some crusty bread to go along with it. The whole thing ended up being a lovely Friday night dinner for the Man of Science and I. A comforting way to end the week.

White Bean Tomato Stew

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup of mushrooms, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup veggie soup stock
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp basil
1 can's worth of white beans
1/2 cup baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over med-high heat and saute onions and garlic and bay leaves until onions are tender.

Add mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes, soup stock, sugar, rosemary and basil.

Reduce heat to medium and let cook for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add white beans and spinach, cover, and reduce heat to minimum. Let cook until spinach is wilted.

Remove bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve.


Some Notes:

-The bread recipe is from The Compassionate Cook, the first vegan cookbook I ever had. Every recipe I've ever made from it has turned out well. It is still a classic volume in my cookbook collection. A broken-spined, soup-stained classic.

-I used just regular button mushrooms, but I think any kind of mushrooms would work well.

-We also ate some appetizers that were portobella mushrooms de-stemmed and upended on a cookie sheet, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and topped with a slice of tomato and a bit of Parmesan cheese. I put them under the broiler for five minutes and they turned all juicy and delicious. We ate them so fast I didn't take any photos.



Anonymous said...

Gawd, that looks scrumptious and healthy! Can't believe you made your own bread!

Vaishali said...

This is such a beautiful and colorful stew, and just reading about the flavors in there is making my mouth water! Thanks for this lovely entry to It's A Vegan World: Italian.

SB said...

Yum!! Do you think I could get away with using a large can of Trader Joe's peeled plum tomatoes with basil? I've had it in my pantry forever!

Jo Stockton said...

SB: I'm sure that the tomatoes would work. Just omit the soup stock so it doesn't end up too liquidy!


Pearl said...

oh, I haven't heard of that cookbook. thanks for the heads up.

Jo Stockton said...

Pearl: It is a great cookbook. I think it's still in print. Lots of simple, classic recipes.

raino said...

i am not vegan or even vegetarian but that stew looks terrific and i may just make it.

Splendid Little Stars said...

I made this today, changing it some, and it was delicious!