Spicy White Bean Stew

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A hearty stew filled with aromatics, white beans, pesto, fresh and dried herbs, crushed red pepper flakes and loads of greens.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups baby spinach or chopped kale
  • 3 15-ounce cans cannellini, navy or great northern beans
  • 4 ½-5 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup flat-leaf Italian or curly parsley, chopped
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan, for topping
  • Crusty whole grain bread, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil to medium in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes or until slightly soft. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, basil and crushed red pepper flakes.
  2. Add the spinach or kale, beans and stock and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the pesto. Cook 10-15 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Optional: Use an immersion blender to lightly puree some of the soup, just until it’s slightly thick.
  4. Scoop the white bean stew in bowls, top with Parmesan and serve with crusty bread.


Cooking Tip: Add another can of white beans for an even heartier stew.