First of all, before I get to the white bean stew recipe, Happy New Year!
I’m not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. If I ever make them specific and measurable enough to be realistic, then they are really my goals, not resolutions, and I won’t deny myself the opportunity to set personal goals on any of the other 364 days of the year. =]
I am a big believer, though, in having a super fun New Year’s Eve and making a toast to whatever lies ahead. And on that accord my New Year was a success. I must say it kind of felt like everybody else had the day off on December 31st except for me, but hey, I still got to relax yesterday, and MLK Jr. Day is right around the corner.
News about my knee! I took a whole week off of both bicycling and running, as well as aggressive walking, for the first time since the injury. I may not have torched the holiday calories very effectively, but after the hiatus I went for a run and I was able to go for 4 straight miles and had no pain. I didn’t try to continue past 4 miles because I’m not ready to test my luck just yet, but I’m feeling really good and happy about how the recovery is going. It’s almost like I should have listened from the beginning to the most obvious advice of just resting. 😉
Anyway, I learned a cool trick while I was making this white bean stew. Because I had to use a little oil for caramelizing the shallots, I was trying to avoid putting any other oil in the recipe. I found out that it’s actually very easy to roast garlic without oil. (Turns out it’s also a great way to cook potatoes without turning them to mush!) If you’re not restricting your oil usage then you can, of course, roast the garlic and cook the potatoes in whatever way you like.
With all of the flavors that the roasted garlic, caramelized shallots, and white wine contribute to the stew you don’t even need to make it with broth! But you can if you want, as it would only make things even more delicious.
White Bean Stew with Caramelized Shallot, Roasted Garlic, and Purple Potato
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 medium purple potatoes diced (or use other types of potatoes, about 1.5 cups cubed)
- aluminum foil
For caramelizing shallots:
For the rest of the soup:
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1/4 cup white wine (any kind)
- 1 tbsp white or yellow miso (for soy allergies, try chickpea miso)
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked white beans (1 can) rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
- dried oregano
- chili flakes
- fresh thyme
- freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Roast the garlic and potatoes (oil-free roasted garlic method source):
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice off the top of the head of garlic, partly exposing all of the individual cloves. Completely wrap the head of garlic in foil and place on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin. Do the same with the diced potatoes, making 2 or 3 wrapped foil pockets with about 1/2 cup each of potato in them.
- The garlic will be done in about 45 minutes, or when completely soft. Unwrap the foil and let it cool, then squeeze the roasted garlic out of the cloves, and mash them with a fork if needed to break them up. The potato will be done in 30-35 minutes.
Caramelize the shallots:
- Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced shallots, vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt, and stir to coat. Let cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until shallots are thoroughly browned.
Make the soup:
- When the shallots are done, add the minced fresh garlic and celery to the saucepan, and cook for a minute or two to soften. Whisk the miso into a bit of water and add it along with the wine, white beans, and vinegar, along with about a cup of water, more or less depending on how thick of a stew you like.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the roasted garlic and cooked potatoes and stir.
- Cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until celery is fully cooked, wine is cooked off and flavors are incorporated. Add oregano, chili flakes, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
- This soup freezes great (that's how I bring soup to work for lunch, since in its frozen form it does not leak all over my backpack).
- Regular balsamic vinegar can always be used instead of white, but will affect the color.
Well, Happy New Year again and cheers to 2014! I have a lot to look forward to this year (starting with the fact that tomorrow is Friday and I get to go home early on Fridays now!), and I hope that you do, too. All the best =]