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Broad Bean Stew

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

When the cold weather descends upon us, I go immediately into “cozy mode”. Blankets, fuzzy socks, endless pots of herbal tea, and the official start of soup and stew season! Soups and stews are one-pot magic wonders, keeping your belly nourished and your heart full and warm all winter long. This recipe stars broad beans, a large, or fava beans ancient bean that boasts the most protein per serving of all the legumes. As this stew simmers on the stove, the beans soften creating a thick and creamy texture. A base of carrots, celery, and onion blend with flavorful aromatics; garlic, thyme, bay, and homemade vegetable stock to generate a hearty and comforting meal in a bowl. I also tossed in some citrus & kale chicken sausage that provided more protein, a little spice, and a pop of green color, which you could easily substitute for Italian sausage, or just skip.

In my opinion, the hardest part of this dish is remembering to soak your beans. I usually start soaking beans when I’m making breakfast so they’re ready by dinnertime. For this dish I let them soak overnight as well. Truth be told, you can skip this step. It will definitely make the stew take longer. You may also find that cooking straight from dried results in more flatulence (eek!). There are many opinions (and some studies) about this. In my experience, soaking beans beforehand and discarding the soaking water leads to less of a farty feeling afterward.

Servings: 5 | Easy | Prep/soak: 10 minute/8-16hours | Cook time 40 – 60 minutes

Calories: 383 | Protein: 29 g | Fat: 5 g | Carbohydrates: 57 g | Fiber: 13 g | Suger: 4g | Sodium: 533 mg

Potassium: 400 mg | Iron: 24% | Vitamin A: 84% | Vitamin C: 12% | Calcium: 25%

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb dried broad beans (fava), soaked overnight and rinsed

  2. 8 cups Vegetable stock (preferrably homemade and no/low sodium)

  3. 2 medium stalks celery, diced

  4. 1 large carrot, diced

  5. 1 cup onion, chopped

  6. 4 small cloves garlic, minced

  7. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  8. 2 bay leaves

  9. 2 tsp dried thyme

  10. 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (plus more to taste)

  11. 4 citrus, kale chicken sausages, diced

Preparation

Soak your beans. Place them in a large bowl and fill with water an inch or two above the bean (they will expand). Let sit at room temperature overnight. I recommend 8 – 16 hours. Strain them and discard the soaking water.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the carrot, celery, and onion. Let soften for a few minutes then add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Soften for another minute or two then add the beans and broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for 40 minutes. Stir and check periodically. You may want to taste for salt/seasoning after about 10 minutes have passed. Add the sausage. Keep simmering until the beans begin to mush and thicken up the stew and sausage is cooked through if using raw sausage (10 – 20 minutes). The longer you cook, the mushier and pourage-like the stew will become. You can also use a potato masher to gently smash the beans.

Serve in bowls with crusty bread. I added baby spinach to the mix for my leftovers. I placed a cup of spinach in the bowl then the stew and microwaved it for 2 minutes. It wilted the spinach perfectly into the stew.

Notes and Variations

  1. Include additional vegetables. Parnsips, butternut squash, mushrooms, and cauliflower would be great to add during the cooking process. Or stir in fresh spinach, kale, chard, or frozen peas in the last few minutes of cooking.

  2. No broad/fava beans? Swap for kidney, or white beans, or even green or red lentils.

  3. Omit the kale sausage or switch it out for italian sausage, bratwurst (any sausage you like will do). You could also try tofu chunks or veggies sausage to keep it vegan.

  4. Store in the fridge up to a week.

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