Spicy White Bean Stew
Spicy White Bean Stew
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This extremely flexible stew can use up much of what you’ve got on hand. It’s vegetarian by nature, but feel free to start the pot with sausage, slab bacon or leftover ham if you’re feeling more omnivorous. If you can’t find harissa, use tomato paste and a pinch of red-pepper flakes for spiciness.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) broccoli rabe or kale, thick stems separated from the leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 to 3tablespoons harissa or tomato paste
  • Red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans large white beans, such as cannellini, butter or great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced, or 1 lemon, halved, for squeezing
  • 2 ounces feta or other salty cheese, such as queso fresco or pecorino, crumbled
  • 1 cup parsley or cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • Fried or medium-boiled eggs, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Tear broccoli rabe or kale leaves into bite-size pieces and set aside. Chop the stems into about ¼-inch pieces; set aside.
  2. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and sizzled at the edges, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add harissa (or tomato paste and a pinch of red-pepper flakes), and stir to coat in the oil. Cook until the harissa is a nice brick red color, the sugars start to caramelize and the oil turns a nice vibrant fiery orange color, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add beans, and season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, crush a few beans to release their creamy interior.
  5. Add the broth and reserved stems, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until you’ve reached your desired consistency (less time for a brothier soup, more time for a thicker stew), 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Add broccoli rabe or kale leaves and preserved lemon or lemon juice, and stir to wilt the greens. Season with salt, pepper and more red-pepper flakes if you want it spicier.
  7. Serve with feta and parsley, and with eggs, if you like.

 

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