This is a great recipe for a hearty Meat Free Monday, and of course perfect if your Veganuay has turned into Vebruary (sic). If you have problems breaking down the lectins in beans, try soaking them overnight and boiling them for an hour. The texture is softer and seems to help. Rosemary is one of the only evergreen herbs and therefore still freely available from the garden. It has many magical properties too, so add a good handful to the pot. Onions and garlic add the crucial anti-viral kick. If you aren’t the full vegan, finish with some fresh pesto and eat with a large slice of sourdough toast and some goat’s cheese. Mmmm… you could be in Tuscany… couldn’t you?
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 litre veg stock
1 can of cannellini or other beans, or same of home soaked/cooked beans
1 can or carton of tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large handful chopped fresh rosemary
1 large handful of chopped fresh parsley, including stalks
1 small bay leaf
pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper
large glug of olive oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)
Soak your beans over night and cook according to pack instructions.
Warm up your oil and butter (if using) and gently sweat the onions, carrot and celery soffritto. After a few minutes, add the garlic, herbs, smoked paprika, tomato paste and tinned tomatoes. Half fill the can with water and add this to the mix swell. Bring to heat, then add the beans, stir gently and simmer for half an hour letting the flavours develop. Season to taste.
Serve hot with a dollop of fresh pesto, a grating of parmesan cheese and some toasted sourdough. It’s good for the soul .. the gut.. the lymph..the immune system.. the bank balance.. the planet .. and the freezer! Don't forget to freeze a portion for lunch next week ;-)