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29 April 2015 @ 09:43 am
Summery White Bean and Asparagus Stew  
A summery stew, whatever next? Yet the flavours in this are light and fresh enough to work even when the weather is warmer. Serves four with a side dish, or two on its own (or with bread). The 3/4 cup red lentils was a mistake (yes, I accidentally threw red lentils into the wrong pan ... in my defence I was cooking two dishes at once ...) but in fact they thickened it nicely and lent a lovely colour.


  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced or finely chopped

  • Half large or one small broccoli, broken into florets

  • 2 carrots (or 1 VERY large - the one I used was monstrous!), thinly sliced

  • Half green bell pepper, diced

  • 400g tin butterbeans, drained

  • Three quarters cup red lentils

  • Three quarters cup tomato puree

  • 26 asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 veggie stock cube

  • Oil for frying

  • Seasonings: 1 tsp each turmeric, cumin seeds, mild curry powder, 2 tsp dried parsley

  • To serve: Handful toasted sliced almonds, sea salt, lemon juice


  • Fry onion and garlic in a little oil till softened

  • Add broccoli, pepper, carrot, butterbeans, red lentils, tomato puree, stock cube and seasonings

  • Pour over enough boilng water to just cover

  • Simmer for 30 minutes, checking water levels regularly (you want the lentils to absorb most of the water to leave a thick stew, but of course you dont' want them to burn to your pan!)

  • Add asparagus spears, cover with a lid, and leave to steam for 7 - 10 minutes, until asparagus is done to your liking

  • Serve topped with toasted almonds and sprinkled with sea salt and lemon juice


  • A quick few minutes stirred round a heated non-stick pan will toast your almonds nicely

  • This is lovely served over radish and cherry tomato couscous. It would also work well with crusty bread.


  • Cauliflower would work instead of the broccoli, though the flavour would be quite different

  • Replace the mild curry powder with chili powder or ginger if you want a more fiery stew

  • Any colour bell pepper would work

  • You can swap the butter beans for haricot or cannellini beans, or even chickpeas

Note: Tagging this vegan as you could easily substitute vegan margarine