This Italian cabbage and white bean stew is a great bowl of healthy comfort food when you need cheering up.
Italian cabbage is another name for cavolo nero - a dark green, leafy vegetable that is in season most of the year, from June until the following spring. It's a great winter green, packed with vitamins and minerals to pep you up when you're feeling under the weather. This stew is almost like an ultra-thick soup, so it's great served over a toasted slice or two of ciabatta bread, or with a hunk of a loaf for dipping. Although it's really filling, it's a good budget option too - one of our brilliant cheap family meals.
- 2 tbsp olive oil + extra to serve
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 450ml vegetable stock
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 450g Cavolo Nero (Italian black cabbage) or Savoy cabbage, shredded
- 400g can white beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices Ciabatta bread
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for 10 mins to soften.
- Pour in the stock and add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil and stir in the cabbage, beans and plenty of seasoning. Bring back to the boil, re-cover and simmer for 10 mins until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, toast the bread slices and keep warm.
- To serve, place 2 pieces toasted bread into large shallow serving bowls and ladle the stew on top. Serve each portion drizzled with extra olive oil if liked.
Top tip for making Italian cabbage and white bean stew
For extra Italian style, top the stew with grated Parmesan cheese or a dollop of fresh pesto sauce.
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Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.
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