Deliciously Ella's Cannellini Bean Stew is my party trick. By adding just a few extra ingredients to her kitchen-cupboard recipe, I've fooled colleagues, family and friends into believing I'm a kitchen whizz despite the fact I've never baked in my my twenty-two years (ever) and survive largely on cereal eaten straight from the box while standing up.
The best thing about this winter warmer is its versatility. Served with rosemary roasties and all the trimmings, it's won the hearts of die-hard carnivores expecting a Sunday bird. Paired with nachos and a sprinkling of cheddar, it's consoled friends struck down by flu. It works wonderfully with Ella's suggestion of marinated kale, avocado and brown rice, but it's equally lovely served alone with a slather of crusty bread or a dollop of buttered sweet potato mash. It's also my lunchbox saviour - livening up sad jacket potatoes and the simplest of desktop salads.
For the Stew
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes (drained weight of 150g)
1 onion (chopped)
2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2x 400g tins of cannellini beans
1x 400g of butter beans (optional)
2 heaped tablespoons of tahini
1 teaspoon of ground chilli
3x cloves of garlic
2x heaped tablespoons of cumin seeds (toasted)
1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 bunch of corriander (to serve, optional)
2x fresh limes (to serve, optional)
One. Start by toasting the cumin seeds in a frying pan on a low heat.
Two. When the seeds start to smell delicious and turn a little darker in colour, throw in the chopped onion and garlic. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and leave to fry until the onions have softened and browned.
Three. In the meantime, pour the beans into a colander, rinse with water and drain before adding to the frying pan. Repeat this step for the sundried tomatoes, then add the tinned tomatoes, tahini and chilli. Leave to stew until hot. Our tahini serving is more liberal than Ella's and gives a nuttier taste, because we're sesame addicts. Add a pinch of salt (maldon flakes are best) and a crack of black pepper.
Four. Ellla leaves hers for just a few minutes and serves immediately. While this meal is an excellent quick fix, I find it tastes even yummier when left to thicken for at least half an hour. I personally like to add a flash of green goodness to every meal, so I garnish with a heap of zesty corriander and a generous squeeze of fresh lime. Voilà!
Original recipe and image by Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella. Ella's second book, Deliciously Ella Every Day: Simple recipes and fantastic food for a healthy way of life is out now and published by Yellow Kite.