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Spicy Leek and Butter Bean Stew

Another one of my one-pot stews - this time a spicy leek and butter bean stew. I don't tend to cook much with leeks - but given that they are in season from September to May and there seems to be an abundance of them right now in the supermarkets, I thought I'd do a dish with leeks as the main ingredient. And I do not regret this decision - this stew definately does not disappoint!

The leeks - which are related to the onion and garlic - gives this dish the same sort of vibe as onions, but in a more subtle, sweeter way. Cooked together with butter beans, and spiked with fragrant spices, you end up with a stew that is creamy, comforting and wholesome. This is another dish that can be cooked in batches and enjoyed either for lunch or as part of your supper.

Let me tell you about some of the goodness in this stew:

  • Leeks – a nutrient dense vegetable, with notable levels of magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Like garlic, leeks are a great source of allicin, the same sulphur compound that gives garlic its microbial properties.

  • Butter beans – beans are always a great addition to any meal, and butter beans (also known as Lima beans) are so good – mainly because of their buttery and creamy taste. Like all beans, butter beans are a great source of protein – protein being vital in maintaining and repairing the body; rich in folate, thiamine, manganese, potassium, copper and magnesium;

Serves 2


  • Olive oil

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 leeks, sliced into 1 cm chunks

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

  • ½ tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes

  • 300ml vegetable stock

  • 5 baby potatoes, washed and chopped into chunks with the skin on

  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • ½ lemon juice

  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Heat a glug of olive oil in a saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin and coriander seeds. Fry for 30 seconds until they sizzle, and then add the onion and fry gently over a low heat for 5 minutes until softened.

  2. Meanwhile, add the garlic and the leeks to the pan and cook for a further minute. Stir in the paprika and chilli powder and cook for a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and the potatoes, give this all a good mix for a minute or so and then add the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, season with salt, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the tin of cannellini beans, then simmer for a further couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then stir in the juice of the lemon and a large handful of chopped coriander.

And enjoy!


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