Here’s a vegan white bean stew that you could possibly call a white bean chili, though you need not call it anything but simple and tasty. It’s a warming cool-weather stew that comes together quickly without tons of simmering, thanks to a couple of shortcuts.
First, I like to partially cook the sweet potato in the microwave. That makes it so much easier to peel and dice, and cuts down on cook time once it’s added to the stew. The other clever shortcut is adding a nice quantity of salsa to the stew, which adds a burst of flavor.
Finally, instead of the usual chili powder, I use a barbecue seasoning blend like smoky maple or mesquite for more depth of flavor and a little “wow” factor where flavor is concerned. Look for this type of seasoning in the spice section of most any supermarket. This satisfying stew can be accompanied by fresh bread and a simple green salad for an abundant meal.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 28-ounce can cannellini or Great Northern beans (or two 15-ounce cans), drained and rinsed
- 15-ounce can small red or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted
- 1 cup salsa, your favorite variety
- 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 medium yellow summer squash
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fresh herb of your choice for garnish, optional (sprigs of fresh oregano chopped cilantro, etc.)
- If you’d like to partially cook the sweet potato as suggested in the headnote to save time and effort, microwave for 3 minutes on high. You should be able to almost pierce through, with resistance. if not, microwave for 1 minute longer, but err on the side of less rather than more time. Plunge the sweet potato into cold water and when cool enough to handle, peel and dice. However, if you prefer to just peel and dice raw sweet potato without microwaving first, go for it.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, salsa, barbecue seasoning, cumin, and 2 cups water. If you’re using the sweet potato raw, add it as well. Otherwise, you’ll be adding it in the next step. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers gently.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise. slice the thinner end into half-circles; cut each half of the thicker end in half again, then slice. Add to the soup pot. If you’re using partially precooked sweet potato, add it now as well.
- Return to a simmer and cook, covered, until the squash and sweet potato are tender but not overcooked, about 10 minutes.
- If the stew seems dry, add another cup of water, but let it stay nice and thick. Season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the stew stand off the heat for 30 minutes to an hour to develop flavor, then heat through as needed. But if you can’t wait, feel free to serve at once! Garnish each serving with some fresh herb, if you’d like.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 276 Total Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 480mg Carbohydrates: 24g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 8g Protein: 16g