I felt in need of some healthy comfort food today, but our larder is getting close to bare, so I went online to browse for a hearty Instant Pot bean soup with cabbage, carrots, celery, and potatoes (basically, what I currently have in my produce fridge!). I came across this recipe, which appealed to me because it uses dry–not canned–beans and also because it requires two stages of cooking to account for the different cooking times of the beans and vegetables.
I worried, however, that the soup would not be tasty enough, so I added chilli peppers, Better Than Bouillon base, tomato paste, fresh thyme and oregano, and a bunch of chopped spinach.
This tasty stew is a dish that will use up a LOT of vegetables and take very little time to prepare.
White Bean and Cabbage Stew
Turn Instant Pot onto “saute” and spray with a spritz of oil. Saute the following for two or three minutes (until fragrant):
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chili flakes
Add to the above and set the Instant Pot to “manual” for thirty minutes:
- 1 lb dry Great Northern or other white beans
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 3 TBS Better than Bouillon roasted vegetable base
- several sprigs of fresh thyme
Do a quick release, add the following, and set to “manual” for ten minutes:
- 1 lb Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups cabbage, chopped
- 3 cups of spinach, chopped
- a handful of fresh oregano leaves
Do a quick release, pick out the thyme stems, stir, and serve.
If you aren’t vegan and happen to have the rind of a grana padano or parmigiano reggiano in your freezer, you can throw that in with the broth for an extra oomph of flavour. Just make sure you remove what’s left of the floppy rind before serving!
Serve this succulent stew with a big hunk of toasted sourdough bread and you will be very full and very satisfied!
And the song of the day is Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa” for James’ lovely mum, Janet, who died last week at ninety-eight years of age. Janet was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and certainly the most modest and humble. I once congratulated her on producing such kind, decent children (like my darling James) and she looked at me like I was crazy and said her kids were just like everyone else’s! (PS They aren’t–they are all almost as lovely as my Jamie!).
The reason for this particular song is that James has mentioned when he was a child, he loved hearing her sing it as she did her housework.