Cupboard clearing veg & herb stew

I do love having Mondays off work, if only to avoid someone telling my grumpy ass self, “Looks like someone has got a case of the Mondays.” I’m going to spit in your face. And it is going to be a big loogey.

That’s a great description to have in a food blog, isn’t it?

Moving on. This dish…seriously, I have no clue. Early in the day I had an urge to make ribollita, but then I didn’t have kale in the house. Since it was a day off, I didn’t much feel like putting on real clothes and driving to the store in the cold. Plus then I would’ve seen my gas tank is nearly empty and I’m really trying to avoid adding another $40 to my credit card when it closes tomorrow…so, yeah, I’m not leaving the house.

Cut to me raiding the crisper and cupboard to see what I had on hand. There were a few cans of beans and a can of chicken broth, tinned mushrooms, some aging carrots and some bendy celery.

IMG_0056The celery was at that crucial stage of starting to bend but not quite destined for the stock pot.

Enter the high-brow concept of chucking everything together and hoping it tastes good. What I anticipated to be a creamy casserole turned out to be a hearty bean and veggie stew in a herb infused gravy. It won’t win any awards, but it’s a solid meal that can easily be made vegetarian by using veggie stock. If you feel like being indulgent, this is really good served with some crusty bread to sop up the gravy.

Beans & Veg in Herb-y Gravy


5 celery ribs, chopped

2 or 3 carrots, chopped

3 small or 1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced

1 small can sliced mushrooms (drained and rinsed) or 3 or 4 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 can (14 oz) white beans (navy or cannellini), drained and rinsed

1 can (14 oz) butter beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbs. herbs de provence, divided

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

3 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided

2 Tbs. AP flour

1 can (14 oz) chicken or veggie broth/stock plus 1 can water

mozzarella cheese


1. Heat up oil and 1 Tbs. butter in pan. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add celery, carrots, mushroom and garlic, cook for 10 minutes. Add beans and half (1 1/2 tps.) of the herbs. Cook until beans are warmed through and the herbs are fragrant, about another 7 minutes. Remove from heat and put veg mix into a bowl.

IMG_0058Pan and Wooden Spoon star in real sauté action!

IMG_0061Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat ’em, the more you exercise your colon! Keepin’ it classy since 1988.

2. Return pan to heat and add the remaining 2 Tbs. of butter. When melted add the flour and whisk into a roux. Whisk until there are no lumps. When the roux is a thick liquid add the can of broth/stock. Whisk until combined and the gravy starts to thicken. Add the can of water. Repeat. Turn up the heat a bit if you want it to thicken more quickly. Add the other half of the herbs. Season with salt until the gravy is to your liking.

IMG_0062When G-d has his WTF moment he thought, “duck-billed platypus.” In my WTF moment I thought, “casserole.”

3. Here is where I didn’t know what to do with the veggies and the gravy. I ended up layering them into a round casserole dish with some shredded mozzarella cheese. The layering turned out to be superfluous because I ended up stirring it altogether anyway. Feel free to skip this step entirely and just add everything back to the pan and keep it warm on the stove.

IMG_0064All this did was make another dish for me to clean. Why??

4. I put the casserole into the oven at 350* for about an hour, which was completely unnecessary. I also cooked some Italian sausage to serve with it (that’s the brown thing in the left-hand side of the photo below).

IMG_0065So this isn’t cookbook worthy, but it fills a stomach well.

It isn’t fancy, but it was good and definitely cleared some cupboard space.

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