Ahhhh, butter bean stew. Paired with butternut squash, mushrooms and sage, it is a seasonal marker as we slip, quietly, into autumn.
Creamy butter beans, roasted squash, potatoes, mushrooms and kale cuddle up together in a gently seasoned coconut milk broth.
This gentle celebration of the change of season will be a feature of our family table from September right through to the last frosts in March. Squash will be replaced with roasted parsnips, celeriac, turnips or swede as they hit their stride. Kale may be swapped for spinach, roasted sprouts or strips of crinkly savoy cabbage. Sage will bow out for rosemary or thyme but one thing will always remain the same. Those creamy white, buttery legumes are the heart of this comforting butter bean stew.
This butter bean stew recipe is VERY adaptable and super simple. Like all my curry, stew and casserole recipes, the final dish will be dictated by what I have in the vegetable box that week or by what is left over in the veg drawer at the bottom of my fridge.
It will also shape shift according to which children are here at the time. Two of my children don’t like squash and one “hates” mushrooms so if they are around I’ll pop in an alternative or two.
This, thankfully, is becoming less necessary as they get older and realise that it is not, actually, the end of the world if there is a rogue mushroom or piece of pepper on their plate. The grown up children don’t even mention it, accusingly, anymore!
How To Make Butter Bean Stew
This easy vegan stew recipe starts with chunks of peeled and deseeded butternut squash, topped with chilli flakes, salt and pepper, tossed in a little oil and roasted in a hot oven for about 40 minutes.
I love the smell of squash roasting, I think I may actually have a pumpkin addiction! I love how those juicy chunks turn from this:
To this, all sweet and crispy and ready to use! I always keep a handful aside to eat in a sandwich the next day!
While the squash is roasting, gently fry leeks, red onions and mushrooms together with garlic and ginger.
Add chunks of potatoes, sliced kale, finely chopped fresh sage leaves and a little ground turmeric before pouring in the stock and coconut milk.
Bring it all to a simmer and let it bubble gently until the potatoes are fork tender.
Stir in your roasted squash and then add the star of the show, a can of drained and rinsed butter beans.
Simmer gently for about 5 minutes until piping hot before tasting, adjusting the seasoning and serving.
Variations On A Butter Bean Theme
Winter stews and casseroles are versatile things, here are a few swaps and suggestions you might like to try!
- Swap the butter beans for chickpeas, cannellini beans or puy lentils.
- Use roasted parsnips or celeriac instead of pumpkin.
- Spinach, savoy cabbage or curly kale are excellent substitutes for the cavolo nero.
- Any of the traditional winter herbs can be used, try rosemary or thyme instead of sage.
- Pep up the spices for a really warming stew. A good pinch of chilli powder, some toasted cumin seeds or a spoonful of your favourite curry powder will make this stew sing!
- Replace coconut milk with soy cream or leave it out completely.
Looking For More Autumnal Comfort Food?
You could try:
- Mushroom Pie with Ale and Chestnuts
- Baked Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Fried Sage
- Red Dragon Pie – A Simple vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Celeriac and Apple Soup with Chilli Oil
Butter Bean Stew with Roast Squash, Mushrooms and Sage
- 400 g butternut squash peeled, deseeded, chopped into chunks
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 leek including green, sliced into rounds
- 1 red onion peeled and chopped
- 200 g chestnut mushrooms halved or quartered
- 50 g cavolo nero (black kale) finely sliced
- 400 g potato peeled and chopped into chunks (use a waxy potato which won't dissolve)
- 2 large cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp fresh, finely chopped sage
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 400 g can butter beans drained and rinsed
- sliced red chilli
- chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
- Toss the chunks of squash in 2 tbsp of the oil, chilli flakes and salt and pepper. Tumble them onto a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until tender and browned.
- Gently fry the leek, onion and mushrooms in the remaining tablespoonful of oil until soft.
- Add the kale, potato, garlic, ginger, sage and turmeric and fry gently for a further minute or two.
- Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Add the roasted squash and the drained butter beans, stir through and simmer for 5 minutes until piping hot.
- Serve with topped with slices of chilli and chopped fresh parsley.