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Italian Bean Stew With Tomato and Rosemary

This wonderfully rich, veggie stew is a delicious way to warm you through on a cold Spring night.  Bursting with flavour and goodness, it is packed full of everything that's good for you - and because its gluten free, veggie and vegan, you can be sure that everyone who comes to the table will happily scoff it down! 

Serve with crusty bread and lots of butter, or toasted ciabbata slices, and a gorgeous glass of red for a dinner party hit! 

Chef’s Top Tip: When you’re beans from dry, don’t add salt during cooking as it makes them tough.  Cook them through then season at the end – you really will taste the difference!

Preparation Time:
10 minutes
Cooking Time:
50 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 400g tin chickpeas
  • 2x 400g tins tomatoes
  • 250g passata
  • A good splash of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • A good handful of kale
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Pecorino (or vegan) cheese for grating


    1. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, celery 
    and garlic for a few minutes until softened.

    2. Add into the pan the tomatoes, passata, cannellini beans, chickpeas, 
    oregano, rosemary and season with some salt and pepper.

    3. Bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and simmer for 45-50 minutes. If you feel that it's starting to dry out a little, just add some water and give it 
    a stir again.

    4. At the end, add in a good handful of kale and stir it through until its wilted. Serve and top with grated pecorino (or a vegan alternative)

    Beans, Beans, Good For The Heart...

    If you're of a certain age, then you are probably giggling right now as your brain sings out the next line of that old playground anthem.  There is a very good reason that we all sung about the joy of beans though, and it isn't just because heart rhymes with fart!   

    A 2013 analysis of previously held studies found a clear correlation between eating beans and a reduced risk of heart disease. Given that they are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre, and that they other studies have shown they may well lower cholesterol, this isn't surprising at all.  Additionally, beans and chickpeas are high in protein and make an excellent replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.

    Chickpeas V Beans - What's The Difference?

    Chickpeas are actually beans - garbanzo beans to be precise - and are part of the legume family.  They've been around in the Middle East for thousands of years although it is only in the past decade that us Scots have introduced them as a regular ingredient to our dishes.

    The wholesome, nutty taste makes them a bit like pasta or rice when it comes to soaking up flavour which is why they make the ideal thickener for soups and stews. 

    Gill has gone all out veggie with her Italian Bean Stew here, but they are also great with meat and fish stews, and help to bulk out a casserole when an extra person turns up!    

    Both chickpeas and beans keep really well once they’re cooked so they’re the ideal choice if you’re someone who likes to prep ahead of time.  Use cans and simply drain them off before adding to stews or salads, or boil up a quick pot of the dried variety in 20 minutes – just remember that they expand hugely in volume so go easy!

    Buying Chickpeas and Beans in Perthshire

    You can pick up canned chickpeas and beans in any supermarket but if you're after something special, then do check out some of our favourite Perthshire indies.  

    You'll also be able to pick up the other ingredients such herbs and spices while you're there.