White Bean Stew with Tomatoes and Rosemary
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White Bean Stew with Tomatoes and Rosemary

I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart’s website and without a second thought, I started to get all the ingredients to start rolling.  White beans, tomatoes and rosemary sounds good to me.  Stews of any kind are especially inviting around this time of year, they are such a comforting meal.  I recommend you have some toasted baguette slices with this… and chilly weather or not, there’s nothing like a nice beer with stew!

The only thing I did different here, is that I slow cooked my beans overnight on low heat.  I added a clove of garlic and a piece of onion with enough water to cover the pound of beans.  It takes about 8 hrs for them to cook.  You can use this method, or the one detailed in the recipe.  If you use the slow cooker method, use the celery, onion, carrot and bay leaf in step 2 of the procedure so they boil together with the pulsed tomatoes and they release their flavor.

Aside from adding mushrooms and a little diced ham to this, I also added some cumin. This is entirely optional.  I use cumin a lot when I cook with beans (I use it liberally when cooking chili) because I really enjoy its distinctive warm and earthy flavor.


White Bean Stew with Tomatoes & Rosemary

 Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 8

1 pound dried white beans, picked over, rinsed, and drained
1 onion, 1 half finely chopped (½  cup)
1 carrot, cut crosswise into thirds
1 celery stalk, cut crosswise into thirds
1 dried bay leaf
1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes, with juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
½ lb sliced mushrooms
¼ lb sliced ham, cut into squares
⅛ teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional, to give it some heat)
1 sprig rosemary
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Soak beans in water overnight. Drain, and transfer to a large pot. Cover beans with 4 inches water. Add the intact half of the onion, the carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender but not bursting, about 1 hour. Drain, and remove onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf; discard.
  3. Pulse tomatoes, with juice, in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Heat oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, the garlic, ham, mushrooms and red-pepper flakes.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and rosemary. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add beans and cumin powder and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomato sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, and drizzle with oil just before serving.

Cook’s Note

If the stew is made in advance, be sure to remove the rosemary spring and let the beans cool before refrigerating. It should be reheated gently over medium-low heat.

White Bean Stew with Tomatoes and Rosemary

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