(Recipe) Spring Vegetable Stew with White Beans
Introducing the Spring Vegetable Stew with White Beans—a celebration of wholesome flavors and vibrant textures, designed to nourish your body and comfort your soul. This vegan-friendly recipe beautifully marries creamy white beans with a plethora of fresh, crisp vegetables, culminating in a symphony of tastes that dance on your palate. The secret to the velvety richness of this stew lies in the overnight-soaked beans that form the heart of this dish, while the subtle crunch of asparagus, peas, and radishes lends a pleasing contrast. Perfect for those transitioning seasons or for when you crave a bowl of hearty goodness, this stew is as versatile as it is delicious. So, gather your freshest produce and embark on a culinary journey to create this delectable stew—your taste buds will thank you.
- 1 lb. large white beans like lima or gigante, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 onion, halved and peeled
- 3 celery sticks, halved
- 1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms (around 10 large caps)
- 8 sprigs parsley and ¾ cup parsley leaves with tender stems
- 1 head of garlic, halved, and 1 extra garlic clove, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. kosher salt, with extra for seasoning
- ¾ cup and 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, with extra for drizzling
- ¾ cup mint leaves
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1 bunch asparagus (around 1 lb.)
- 10-oz. bag frozen peas, thawed
- 8 thick slices of country or sourdough bread
- 4″ piece fresh horseradish root, peeled
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Heat your oven to 300°F. Mix beans, onion, celery, mushrooms, parsley sprigs, halved garlic, 1 Tbsp. salt, 3 Tbsp. oil, and 2 qt. water in a large Dutch oven. Simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and move to the oven. Bake until beans are tender and creamy, but still whole, about 1 hour. Check every 10 minutes after the first 45 minutes and stir gently. Ensure all beans are cooked by tasting at least three.
Remove and discard aromatics with tongs. Add more salt to taste and let the beans rest, uncovered, on the stovetop.
While the beans cook, prepare your pistou and vegetables. Finely chop the mint and ¾ cup parsley leaves. Mix them with ¾ cup oil, grated garlic, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Set your pistou aside.
Thinly slice your radishes and soak them in cold water in a small bowl. Keep chilled.
Trim your asparagus, snapping off the woody ends. Cut the tips in half lengthwise and slice the stalks crosswise into thin pieces. Mix the asparagus and peas in a medium bowl.
Simmer the beans over medium heat as you prepare to serve the stew. Stir gently to keep the beans intact.
Drizzle oil generously into a large cast-iron skillet and heat until it shimmers. Fry the bread slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, roughly 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and set aside.
Add the asparagus and peas to the simmering beans and stir gently. Cook until the asparagus is bright green and still crunchy, about 2 minutes.
Drain the radishes. Bring the Dutch oven to the table and serve the stew with the fried bread, pistou, radishes, lemon wedges, and grated horseradish on the side.