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Basque White Bean Stew Recipe

Basque White Bean Stew Recipe

This hearty stew is a typical cold-weather dish in the Basque country of Spain.

Delicious and substantial, the benefits of beans combine beautifully here with the vitamins and anti-oxidants of peppers and flavorful iron-rich leeks to make a tasty stew that is as good to eat as it is good for you.

This recipe includes a great tip for getting your beans to soften as they cook!

2 pounds dried white beans
1 leek, well-washed and halved lengthwise
1 green pepper, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika

1. In a large pot or bowl, combine the beans with enough cold water to cover them by 1 to 2 inches. Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. Drain them, and transfer them to a stockpot.

2. Add the leek and peppers to the pot, and then add enough cold water to cover the vegetables by 2 to 3 inches. Bring the contents to a boil over high heat, and cook rapidly for 2 to 3 minutes, skimming any foam from the surface. Reduce the heat, and simmer gently for about 2 hours, adding about 1/4 cup cold water to the pot every 30 minutes (this softens the beans). The beans are done when they are fork-tender.

3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the paprika, and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes longer, until the mixture is well blended. Add it to the beans.

4. Remove the leeks and peppers from the beans, if you prefer, and discard them. Season the stew to taste with salt. Reheat the stew gently, if necessary. Ladle into shallow soup bowls, and serve.

Serves 8.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Entrees

Adapted from The Basque Table, by Teresa Barrenechea (Harvard Common Press, 1998). Copyright (c) 1998 by Teresa Barrenechea. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from The Basque Table, by Teresa Barrenechea (Harvard Common Press, 1998).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Basque Table

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+ add your own
6:41AM PST on Mar 10, 2012


9:18AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Thank you

5:19PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

I love beans. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe.

6:53AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Thanks for this article...

5:01AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:36PM PST on Nov 22, 2010

This recipe sounds nice, and maybe would be good with other kinds of beans as well as the ones mentioned -- a nice basic recipe to follow and improvise on!

12:29AM PST on Feb 23, 2010

Thanks for this article.

12:14PM PST on Feb 20, 2010

Excellent, thanks!

9:31AM PST on Dec 1, 2009

Thank you I recently dound this dish on the site. It was lovely and the family really enjoyed it. I did add some celery and garlic and I cut everything smaller. Discard the leek (home grown) and peppers? Oh no.

7:43AM PST on Nov 13, 2007


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