A statement Mediterranean dish that is authentic, hearty, and loaded with layers of flavor. This White Bean Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes is made with white beans, seasoned with staple Mediterranean additions, and intensified with sun-dried tomatoes that make this dish all that it is!
All about the ingredients:
- White Beans: Cannellini beans are the largest of the white beans and are the shape of kidney beans and that is why they are sometimes called white kidney beans. They hold their shape very well and have a tender and meaty inside, making them perfect for stews and soups because they will not fall apart if properly cooked. To prepare the cannelini beans for this White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, simply soak the beans overnight in a pot of water. For best results, the beans should soak for at least 6 hours. A great substitute for cannellini beans are Great Northern beans.
- Onions and garlic are a great addition to this stew that contribute to its magnificent flavor. The chopped yellow onions and minced garlic cloves are added to the beans while they simmer giving them plenty of flavor so you don’t even have to use vegetable stock that is often very high in sodium.
- Herbs and seasonings: Oregano, parsley flakes, paprika, bay leaves, turmeric, salt, and pepper are all that you need to reach the perfect flavor. These are all very simple ingredients that are very commonly used in the Mediterranean region.
- Sun dried tomatoes: These are tomatoes that have been dried out and although not moist, they still preserve their sweet flavor with a little bit of a tang. Sun dried tomatoes are usually sold in a jar, are dunked in oil and sometimes, seasonings. This recipe calls or 1/2 of a cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes since they are usually sold whole or halves. To get smaller pieces that are easier to eat in this White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, remove them from their container and using a knife, slice them into small pieces.
- Olive oil and all purpose flour: The olive oil gives the stew a smooth texture an adds flavor while the all purpose flour acts as a thickening agent. These ingredients are used to make a roux that is then added to the White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes to make it a slightly thicker consistency.
How to make White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
- Soak beans overnight.
- Simmer beans with chopped onion, bay leaves, minced garlic, parsley flakes, and oregano.
- Sauté the chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.
- Add all purpose flour, paprika, and turmeric to the olive oil and sun dried tomatoes. Whisk.
- Pour sun-dried tomato mixture to the white beans.
- Simmer for 15 minutes then serve!
Can you use canned beans?
The answer is yet! I avoid using canned beans mostly to avoid the sodium content however it would save you some time. In place of 1 1/2 cups of dry, uncooked beans, use 2 cans of beans. Canned beans do not have to be soaked in water. Simply drain and rinse the beans and simmer then for 10 minutes in water, then 15 more minutes after the sun-dried tomato roux mixture is added.
How to make the thickening Roux:
Roux is a thickening agent made of fat and flour that gives stews and soups a thicker, smoother consistency. Roux is made using equal part fat and flour or cornstarch. The roux for this recipe is not as thick and is cooked in the olive oil that you used to sauté the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Start by sautéing the sun-dried tomatoes for about 4-5 minutes.
- Next whisk in the flour, paprika, and turmeric. Whisk quickly for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes, being careful not to burn the mixture. Although it will not be as thick as traditional roux, it will become slightly thick and should be smooth.
- Finally, add the roux to the simmering beans and stir to incorporate it with the rest of the beans
A great addition to the Mediterranean Diet:
The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that consists of daily consumption of plant based, whole foods including fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and healthy fats. It also encourages weekly consumption of poultry, eggs, and daily while greatly limiting red meats, sugar, and other processed foods. This diet received great recognition in the 1960’s when it was noticed that the population in the Mediterranean region had much lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. This encouraged a lot of research on the lifestyle choices in people living near the Mediterranean region. For a healthier version of this White Bean Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe, you can omit the all purpose flour. This will leave you with a soupy consistency that will still be packed with incredible flavors. *Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice so be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning a new diet.
- 1 1/2 cups dry white beans (Cannelini or Great Northern)
- 5 1/2 cups water
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon back pepper
- In a medium pot, add beans and cover with water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Drain beans and to the soaked beans, add 5 1/2 cups of water. To the beans, add chopped onions, minced garlic, bay leaves, parsley flakes, and oregano. On medium heat, bring beans to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Add more water if needed.
- In a non stick skillet on medium low heat, heat olive oil and add chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for about 4 minutes.
- To the sautéd sun-dried tomatoes, add flour, turmeric and paprika. Whisk quickly for 30 seconds until the oil thickens, being careful not to burn. Then add mixture to the simmering beans. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
- Let the stew simmer on low heat for 10 more minutes, add more water if needed. The consistency should be just slightly thicker than a soup.
- Remove from heat and serve warm.