A colourful vegan stew

White bean stew

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Make your next stew so much more exciting with cannellini beans, kale and coconut milk. Ginger, coconut flakes and nigella seeds make for a warming, crunchy topping


Make this hearty white bean stew, then check out our Tuscan bean stew, vegetarian stew, three bean casserole and more easy vegetarian recipes.

Cooking beans from dried allows you to monitor exactly when they are done, so you get perfectly creamy, smooth interiors, without them falling apart or getting leathery outer cases. This method of cooking also allows the flavours to penetrate the beans as they absorb the coconut, ginger and turmeric while they cook. This stew is not all about the beans, though – it’s about the toppings, too. Sizzled, warming ginger; crunchy, toasty coconut flakes; and gentle allium seeds for added texture and flavour – this stew has it all.



  • vegetable or coconut oil 1 tbsp, plus 2 tsp
  • onion 1 large, sliced
  • ginger 60g, peeled, ½ finely chopped and ½ cut into matchsticks
  • red chilli 1, finely chopped
  • ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • lemongrass 1 stick, bashed
  • coconut milk 400ml tin
  • vegetable stock 750ml
  • dried cannellini beans 300g, soaked for 12 hours or overnight
  • sweet potato 1 large or 2 medium, peeled and cubed
  • kale 200g, thick stalks removed, shredded
  • lime 1, juiced, plus wedges to serve
  • coconut flakes 10g
  • nigella seeds 1 tsp
  • dried chilli flakes 1 tsp
  • coriander leaves a handful, to serve


  • Step 1

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy-based pan and gently fry the onion for 15-20 minutes or until golden and caramelised – add a splash of water if it starts to stick. Stir the chopped ginger and chilli into the pan, and fry for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the turmeric, lemongrass, coconut milk and stock. Bring to a simmer.

  • Step 2

    Drain the soaked beans and add to the pan. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour 30 minutes until the beans are just tender – top up with a little water during cooking if it seems to be getting dry.

  • Step 3

    Stir the sweet potato into the stew and simmer (uncovered if you prefer a thicker stew) for 10 minutes, then stir in the kale and lime juice. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until the kale is tender – the beans should have soft skins and creamy centres by this stage.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, toast the coconut flakes, nigella seeds and chilli flakes in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes or until smelling toasty – tip out onto a plate. Add the 2 tsp of oil to the pan, and sizzle the ginger matchsticks for 1-2 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Spoon the sizzled ginger and coconut relish over the stew, and scatter with coriander to serve.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 370
  • Fat 17.1g
  • Saturates 13.5g
  • Carbs 34.9g
  • Sugars 9.7g
  • Fibre 12.9g
  • Protein 12.6g
  • Salt 0.5g