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Love Food, the cookbook brand from Parragon Books, is dedicated to providing simple, delicious recipes for the home cook.
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Meat Free Monday - Tuscan Bean Stew
What could be a more perfect meal for this time of year - both hearty and comforting, and full of goodness! From America’s Family Recipes (for the iPad and now the iPhone).
Tuscan Bean Stew, serves 4.
1 large fennel bulb
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, cut into small wedges
2-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 aubergine/eggplant (225g/8oz), peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsp tomato paste
480ml/16fl oz vegetable broth
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
A few sprigs of fresh oregano
1 can (14.5oz) chick peas
1 can (14.5oz) cannellini beans
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into small strips
1 courgette/zucchini, sliced into semicircles
55g/2oz pitted black olives
55g/2oz Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Crusty bread, to serve
1. Trim the fennel and reserve any feathery fronds, then cut the bulb into thin strips. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan with a tight fitting lid, and cook the onion, garlic and fennel strips, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes, or until softened.
2. Add the aubergine and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Blend the tomato paste with a little of the broth in a pitcher and pour over the fennel mixture, then add the remaining broth, and the tomatoes and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have begun to collapse.
3. Drain and rinse the beans, then drain again. Add them to the pan with the yellow pepper, courgette and olives. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Place in bowls, and garnish with the Parmesan shavings and the reserved fennel fronds, accompanied by crusty bread.