Friday, 21 September 2012

Mushroom & borlotti bean stew

He who must be fed has very traditional tastes, he would describe his preferred diet as very Irish, favouring meat and spuds soaked in an indeterminate brown. Vegetables should come from a hole deep underground never any kind of bush or overground situation, that's just wrong. He'd never eaten a mushroom when I met him at the ripe old age of 22. This recipe is a combination of the traditional stews he loves for our current budget and waistlines, more veg, more nutrients, no meat. I'm happy to say his palate loved mushrooms.


1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 leeks, sliced
4 celery sticks, sliced
300g chestnut or button mushrooms
30g dried mushrooms, soaked for 30mins in warm water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 x 400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp plain flour
small glass red wine
600ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
100g kale

Serves: 4 generously
Cost per portion: £1.34
Nutrition: 363 calories, 35g carbs, 14g protein

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, carrots, leeks, celery and fresh fresh mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Add to the pan the garlic, a generous spring (or about a teaspoon of dried) of thyme, stir, then add the borlotti beans. Take the dried mushrooms from their water (do not throw away - this stuff is gold for flavour), tear any that are too large and add to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.

Sprinkle over the flour, stir through, then add the wine and soy sauce. Pour in the reserved mushroom water making sure not to add the gritty bits in the bottom of the bowl. Bring to the boil and add the stock.

Leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add the kale. Stir through and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve, I like it with crusty bread but He Who Must Be Fed has infinitely more experience of stews than me and he declared this mash-worthy. That's me told.

This is another one which freezes well and is packed with flavour. A gorgeous combination of comfort food and health food in one bowl.

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