Smoky White Bean Stew with Winter Greens

January 19, 2011

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This recipe in Bon Appetit caught my eye for a number of reasons.  I love, love, love cooked bitter greens for one, as you know if you read this blog regularly!  I imagined that it would be delicious as it’s a cousin to another stew recipe we’ve posted with white beans and Swiss chard.  I’ve also been looking for things to do with the smoked paprika I have on the shelf, and I just ordered something called Pirate’s Bite, a combination of dried hot peppers, spices and salt (from The Spice and Tea Exchange).  Lastly, I’ve vowed to eat a vegetarian diet for a few of weeks after coming off a couple of months of rich food.  So this dish fit the bill in a number of ways!  And like the stew with chard, it is a snap to make.

2-3 bunches of mixed winter greens (collard, mustard or kale)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, small dice

2-4 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

3 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice (or one large)

2 cups liquid (water or vegetable stock)

2 14-ounce cans cooked cannellini or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes or 2-3 grinds of Pirate’s Bite (optional for heat)

Grated hard cheese for serving (such as Parmigiano, aged Manchego or Pecorino Romano), optional

Prepare the greens by washing thoroughly, removing the tough inner stems and coarsely chopping in 2-inch pieces.  I used a combination of all 3 greens – 1 bunch each – which added up to about 25 cups!  Don’t be alarmed by this amount since they cook down dramatically. Set aside.

Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven with the olive oil and heat to medium-high.  Add the onion and saute till soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add the smoked paprika and saute for about a minute.  Add the tomatoes, their juices and the liquid.  Stir in the greens a little at a time until wilted.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the greens are tender but not mushy.

Add the beans and chili flakes or Pirate’s Bite.  Add more liquid if you want a brothier stew.  Stir to blend and heat through.  Serve in bowls and pass the cheese.  (I thought this was delicious without the cheese, but try for yourself and decide.) Addendum Oct 9, 2011:  I’m busy stocking my freezer this year for the winter and think this is a good candidate.  I have frozen a couple of batches of this recipe without the beans, with the idea that I will add them when reheating.

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4 Responses to “Smoky White Bean Stew with Winter Greens”

  1. Mom/Kat Says:

    pretty presentation!!

  2. Kelli Says:

    A few of my favorite things!! Kale (Deep leafy greens in general) and smoked paprika. Just discovered your site. Love it 🙂 Keep sharing.

  3. Nicki Says:

    Hi Suzy, got to say I made this soup and it was FANTASTIC!! Wonderful flavor. Real comfort food.
    I sort of made it with stuff I actually had on hand, i.e. all Kale, which comes in a big bunch and I had been chopping it and adding it to salads…..but here’s the trick when I made the soup; because Kale is so
    ‘sharp’ I put it in my Cuisinart to make it small. I also threw the onion in, (cut up a bit first) as well, put it into the large pan and cooked it a bit before adding all the other stuff and it worked like a charm. Short cuts, actually. This soup is a solid winner. Thanks 🙂 Nicki


    • Hi Nicki – I’m glad you made and liked this – not everyone likes hearty greens. Thanks for the tip. I liked the idea of sauteing the greens and onions together before adding the other things. And speaking of shortcuts, I remembered (after I cleaned and chopped the greens) that Trader Joe’s has pre-cleaned and chopped hearty greens in a bag. BTW, do you have a Spice and Tea Exchange near you? They’re based in St Augustine and prevalent in FL. Their Pirate’s Bite and Florida Sunshine salt/spice grinders are great.


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