Friday, 25 February 2011

Family Meals for Much Less than a Fiver (9) - Vegetable and Bean Stew


This is one of those recipes where you can make changes to adapt the basic idea to your taste. The stew consists of root vegetables and cannellini beans. You can use different root veg in the proportions you like, according to what is available, and of course, cost. I got my vegetables from Exeter Farmers Market. The cheapest veg is usually from green grocers or market stalls and if you care about it being locally grown, you can ask where it came from. A market stall near me does a fabulous stew pack for just £1.50 with carrots, parsnips, swede and onions.

And there is something earthy and marvellous about handling, chopping and cooking fresh vegetables - knowing the goodness they contain.

You can also try different types of beans - just go with your favourite.

Anyway without more ado, here is the recipes as I cooked it but feel free to ring the changes! Depending on what you buy this dish will cost between £2.50 and £4.00 to make.

You will need:

1 onion

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small (or half large) suede

1 small (or half large) butternut squash

2 medium parsnips

2 medium carrots

2 tbsps plain flour

300ml stock

carton/ tin chopped tomatoes

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp mixed herbs

2 medium or 1 large potato

Optional Substitutes / additions

Sweet potato, sliced courgette (add just before put in oven)


Prepare the vegetables. Cut butternut squah in half and deseed then chop into 2cm square (approx) pieces removing skin. Wash and slice parsnips and carrots. Peel and chop suede. Peel and slice onion. Heat oil in large heavy bottomed pan and cook onion. Crush or finely slice garlic clove and add. to the onion. Add all the chopped vegetables and stir. Turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Add flour and stir to cover vegetables completely. Cook for 1 minute. Add stock, tomatoes, paprika and herbs. Stir to mix flour into liquid. Add more water if necessary. Add the cannellini beans and stir to mix.


Place all the mixture in a large casserole dish.

Peel and slice the potato. Arrange the potato on top in a circle. Cover and place in the oven at 180 degrees for about 90 minutes. Serve with a green vegetable or just enjoy on it own or with a slice of crusty bread.


Whilst it is cooking, its the ideal opportunity to bake some cakes or scones as suggested by one of our readers, to use the heat of the oven while its on.

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