Make this hearty white bean stew, then check out our Tuscan bean stew, vegan stew, vegetable stew, vegan gumbo 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.


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

Our very best vegan recipes

Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe


Anna Glover profile
Anna GloverSenior food editor

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 5 out of 5.3 ratings