This hearty Tuscan vegetable stew is very quick to cook and is a complete meal when served with thick slices of crusty bread to mop up all the juices. Cavola nero or Tuscan cabbage is one of the key ingredients in this stew. It has very dark, almost black, leaves but if you can’t find it use curly kale or green cabbage instead. Haricot beans are packed with protein and together with all the vegetables this makes a perfectly well balanced and nutritious vegetarian supper. You could use any canned beans if you prefer or even a tin of mixed beans.
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 sticks celery, sliced
- 1 large carrot, cubed
- Pinch of crushed dried chillies
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 400g can haricot beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 200g cavola nero or culy kale, shredded
- Toasted rustic bread or garlic bread, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium–low heat, add the onion, celery and carrot, and fry for 5 mins until lightly browned then add the chilli and garlic. Cook for 1 min.
Drain and rinse the beans then add to the pan with the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.
Add the cavola nero or curly kale and cook for 5-8 mins until tender. Serve the stew in bowls with toasted crusty bread or garlic bread.
Top tip for making Tuscan vegetable stew
If you wish to use dried cannelini beans soak them overnight in water then drain and cook in plenty of unsalted boiling water until tender before adding to the stew.