Cozy and warming, savoury and full of flavour. This comforting bean stew is rich with tomatoes and uses either fresh or canned borlotti beans that soften and meld into a deliciously rich and tender bite. Just because this stew happens to be vegan, doesn't mean that everyone can't enjoy it!
This delicious bean stew owes a lot to that delicious classic Tuscan dish Ribollita, but using borlotti in place of the cannellini beans and omitting the bread and kale. I love making bean stews and casseroles, so if you want something in the same vein, but different, try this Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew.
Pictured with the stew is my super easy Air Fryer Garlic bread, but you could also serve it with some homemade Vegan Chickpea Flour Flatbreads. And if you want a salad to go on the side, you can't go past my favourite Harissa Roasted Chickpea & Tomato Salad or this delicious Vegan Celeriac Remoulade which is great for adding some zing to the overall meal.
I think what is especially lovely about this bean stew is how versatile it is. You can use fresh, dried or canned beans. Add corn, use canned or fresh tomatoes. You can use what is available to you and it will always taste delicious.
For the full quantities, please see the recipe card below.
- Borlotti Beans (Cranberry Beans): I've made this recipe with both fresh borlotti beans, as well as canned and a combination of both, according to what was available. Alternatively, any freshly podded bean would work (Especially great if you have grown loads of oversized runner beans that are too tough to eat with their green outers. You can also use canned or dried beans. Borlotti Beans are also known as Cranberry Beans in America.
- Fresh or Canned tomatoes: Use juicy ripe tomatoes. If they are unavailable, use canned.
- Carrots: A few fresh carrots add colour and sweetness.
- Onion: Yellow or brown onions are best, they add a subtle flavour and sweetness.
- Fresh Garlic: Use as many garlic cloves as you like. You know the rules.
- Red Pepper: A red pepper is optional, but I like to include it for extra flavour.
- Tomato Paste: A tablespoon of tomato paste adds overall depth to the recipe.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil adds a subtle flavour that pairs so well with the Italian-inspired ingredients.
- Oregano: The perfect match with any beans.
- Chilli flakes: Optional, but I love a little extra heat in my stew!
- Bay Leaf: Fresh or dried. It adds a subtle fragrance.
- Vegetable Boullion: or a veggie stock cube or homemade veggie stock.
- White Wine: Adds a little extra sweetnesss and balances out the flavours. Instead you could also use a little apple cider vinegar.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Get the freshest of fresh organic ingredients from Abel & Cole with a weekly box.
- Buy dried borlotti beans online or in tins. Amazon or other grocery stores are useful places to shop for these.
1.In a large heavy bottomed pan or casserole, heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrot and pepper. Saute gently until the onion softens.
2. Once the onion is softened, add the tomato paste, fresh or canned tomatoes, freshly podded beans (if using) or dried, cooked beans (if using) and all the herbs. (If using canned beans, wait till later!)
3. Add the veggie boullion and water and wine, and simmer for around 20 minutes until the beans are softened and the tomatoes disintegrate. Add the white wine now if using.
4. If using canned beans, add them now and simmer for a further 20 minutes until you have a lovely rich stew. If you need to add a little extra water, just add a little at time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread.
HINT: Canned beans are much softer than home-cooked or fresh beans, so add them last so they don't disintegrate into mush.
As with most hearty stews, this recipe can be customised to what you have and will turn out pretty delicious. Here are some great ideas.
- Sweet Corn. My original recipe for this used seasonal sweet corn. Add in a cup of kernels, either fresh or frozen, about 10 minutes before serving
- Dried Beans: Use any kind of dried beans, by soaking them overnight, then simmering them in plenty of water before using them in the stew.
- Other beans: The best kind of beans to use in this recipe are kidney, butterbeans, Adzuki beans, or cannellini beans. Use a mixture of any you have available!
- Kale or Cabbage: Add some kale or shredded savoy cabbage at the end of the cooking time for an extra nutrient boost.
- No Wine: Use a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to help balance the flavours if you don't want to include alcohol in this recipe.
This recipe will keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to three months. Perfect for meal prepping!
Although you can make this bean stew in a saucepan, it is lovely to use a casserole dish or dutch oven. One day I'd like to be able to have this Le Crueset pan to use, but in the meantime, I use a pan we picked up at a garage sale!
If you do decide to meal prep this dish and keep some in the freezer, reheat it from frozen with a splash of water or stock to help the thawing process along.
Yes you can, in fact, this hearty bean stew tastes even better the next day after it's made.
Yes, you will need to soak and cook the beans first to make this dish.
Yes you can! I suggest using a creamier style bean such as kidney beans, cannellini beans or butter beans for the best texture and flavour. You could also use a combination of beans.
NB: This recipe was first posted 8th September 2019 as Borlotti Bean, Sweet Corn and late Summer Stew.
Vegan Bean Stew with Borlotti Beans
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 600 g (3 ⅓ cups) fresh, shelled borlotti beans (Equivelant to 2 standard 400g /15 oz 'cans' )
- 400 g (2 ⅔ cups) ripe tomatoes, chopped. (or 1 x 400g tin)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 cloves fresh garlic ((I love garlic! Use as much as you would like here)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder (This is totally optional! Or use more if you're a chilli freak!)
- 2 teaspoon Vegetable Boullion Powder (mixed with the water)
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 50 ml (¼ cups) white wine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- large pinch salt
- Finely chop the onion, carrot and red pepper, mince the garlic and roughly chop the tomatoes.
- Add the olive oil into a large saucepan & sizzle the chopped onion, pepper, carrot and garlic i in it for a few minutes until the onion softens.1 medium yellow onion, 1 red bell pepper, 2 medium carrots, 4 cloves fresh garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the chopped tomatoes, borlotti beans, chilli, tomato paste and herbs.400 g ripe tomatoes, chopped., 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 600 g fresh, shelled borlotti beans
- Add the wine and the boullion and water. Simmer for around 30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down & the borlotti beans soften. (This might take a little longer if the beans are a little older)2 teaspoon Vegetable Boullion Powder, 500 ml water, 50 ml white wine
- If you are using tinned beans, leave them out until the tomatoes are starting to soften & breaking down, then add them & cook for 10 -20 minutes. Add more water if needed.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.large pinch salt
- I like to serve this up with some fresh basil & crusty bread to mop up the juices. It's also great as a packed lunch or as part of a larger meal.