This recipe for Smoky Roasted Tomato White Bean Stew has been on the regular Covid-19 rotation menu for the past couple of months. It has definitely evolved into a dish that we love and even craves.
The inspiration came from a friend who suggested a “let’s all cook the same recipe for dinner together via Zoom night.” The meal that was picked was a tomato and white bean stew from the New York Times. Unfortunately by the time, this evening was planned I had already been to the grocery store and the last thing I wanted to do again, during Covid-19 was go back to the market.
Since I did not have most of the ingredients needed I have to improvise by using canned tomatoes as well as chickpeas along with the chicken stock. We loved the recipe and both agree that the topping made with lemon and parsley really make this dish. What did I do? The following week I remade the recipe but actually followed the original recipe. It was good but we both agreed it could be better.
Over time I added a little of this and a lot of that and voila! I always felt the original recipe lasted freshness, so I added marjoram, rosemary, and some smoked chili flakes. All of these herbs complement lemon so it seemed the perfect marriage. Now I have a recipe that we absolutely love, crave, and make once a week! It is super simple to make, vegetarian friendly and so flavorful.
Note: when I started working with this recipe I did use canned whole tomatoes which I strained and then roasted as below. I added the juices from the can to the broth while cooking. It worked perfectly for those colder months when you can not find perfectly ripe tomatoes.
Smoky Roasted Tomato White Bean Stew
1/2 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
zest from one large lemon, organic preferred when using the zest
2 pounds of fresh cherry or Campari tomatoes, larger ones cut in half
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon smoked chili flakes
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
4 cups cannellini beans. drained and rinsed well.
kosher salt to taste
Heat oven to 425.
In a small bowl mix together the parsley and lemon zest along with a sprinkle of salt. Mix well. Set aside.
Place the tomatoes onto a baking sheet and toss together with the 1/4 cup of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper as well as the thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. Mix well. Slide into the oven and roast until the tomatoes break down and are lightly caramelized; about 25 – 35 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs.
While the tomatoes roast, place a large dutch oven over medium-low heat on the stove. Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the onion, stir and cook until soft; about 3 minutes. Add the garlic along with the chili flakes, stir and cook until fragrant; about 3 minutes.
Add the broth along with the beans to the broth, stir and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking over a low simmer. Once the tomatoes are finished roasting and them along with any juices to the bean mixture. Simmer over low for 20 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place into serving bowls and top with the lemon parsley mixture along with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked chilies to garnish.