Bean, fennel and mushroom stew
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes + 1 hour to roast the tomatoes + time to cook the beans (variable)
Keywords: saute entree gluten-free low-carb nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegetarian vegan beans fennel mushrooms tomatoes onion
- 4 ounces / 113 g dry Coco Nero beans (or a variety of beans good in stews)
- 2 cups / 475 ml water
- 1/2 small onion, halved
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- A small bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 pound / 450 g Early Girl tomatoes OR one 14.5 ounces / 411 g can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces / 113 g red onion, finely diced or quartered and thinly sliced (clean weight)
- 4 ounces / 113 g fennel, stalk trimmed, quartered, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise (clean weight)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces / 113 g brown beech mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- A few grinds of the pepper mill, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced fennel fronds
Note: 1. I do not soak dry beans before cooking them. 2. The beans and roasted tomatoes can be prepared ahead of time.
Place the beans in a saucepan with the water, onion, garlic, bay leaf and salt. Bring the water to a lively boil, then turn down the heat and let the beans simmer, covered, until they are tender. Taste them once the skin is no longer wrinkled and estimate if/how much longer they should cook. Check the beans at regular intervals and add some hot water, as needed to keep all the beans moist.
Let the beans cool in their cooking broth, then remove the aromatics and discard them. Let the beans rest in their broth until ready to use.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F / 177 C. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Halve each tomato crosswise and place on the baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and transfer the tomatoes to a bowl. Once cool, cut each piece in half or into quarters (depending on size). Note: skip this step if using canned fire-roasted tomatoes and just add the tomatoes where the recipe instructs you to do it.
In a Dutch oven or sauté pan, warm up the olive oil on medium heat, turn down the heat to medium-low and cook the onion for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the fennel, stir and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Cover and continue cooking until the fennel is tender.
Add the garlic, stir and cook for one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir, cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes, regulating the heat so as to maintain a gentle boil.
Halve the mushroom cluster and cut a V off at the bottom to remove the base, making sure not to cut off any edible part. With your hands, separate the cluster into individual mushrooms. Set aside.
Add the beans and their broth to the pan. If it is dry, add 1/4 cup / 60 ml of water, stir, cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes, regulating the heat so as to maintain a gentle boil.
Add the mushrooms and stir well. Cover and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring well after 2 minutes.
Sprinkle the sea salt and pepper, then taste to adjust salt. Sprinkle the fennel fronds and stir. Take the pan off the heat and serve the stew warm. Enjoy!