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I’m grappling with this odd, in-between autumn and winter weather we’ve been having.  It’s been a cycle of cool, warm(er), rainy, cold, cool, warm, etc.  It looks like Christmas everywhere, but the weather seems undecided about the season.

So cold and rainy days mean more soup!  Or stew in this case.  It is warm, earthy, and chock full of hearty autumn/winter veggies.  Quite the meal in and of itself.

Tuscan White Bean Stew

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 8 oz. dry* or canned Navy beans – I used dry (you could also use Cannellini or Great Northern)
  • 4-5 large kale leaves, pulled from stems and chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme – I used fresh
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

*If you’re using dry beans, they need to be fully cooked before putting in the stew.  How to cook dry beans here.

Chop and sauté the onion and thyme over medium heat for about 2 minutes.  Slice the carrots into thin coins and the potatoes into a 1/2-inch dice.  Add to the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, until everything softens.

Add the broth (I always have homemade stock on hand, so I used 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of water), oregano, tomato paste, kale, beans and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.  Lower the heat and cover for a few minutes until the kale is tender.

Just what is so Tuscan about this stew?  Somehow the tomato paste and oregano just make it taste Italian (and I guess Tuscan.)  I didn’t really get how these two ingredients would shine until I tasted it.  It’s really delicious.  I love the earthiness from the potatoes, carrots, kale and herbs.  Totally a great dish to cuddle up with.