When the weather changes, I start to really crave a big pot of beans. It’s really the most comforting thing I can think of (as long as there’s a bit of crusty bread).
Pot of beans or stew?
In this recipe, I’m toeing the line on whether or not this is just a pot of beans or a simple fall bean stew. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter because it’s delicious either way! If you wanted to bulk this up a bit more, you could add vegetables (sweet potato, squash) and/or greens (kale, chard).
White Beans + alternatives
Originally I wanted to use larger white beans to really make the beans known but what I realized it’s much nicer with the smaller beans. You could use any of the different white beans- it’s really up to you.
Also, if you wanted to speed this up, you could use canned beans. Simply drain the beans and add to a pot with enough broth to cover then heat the beans as the recipe states.
The Chili Paste
When it comes to the chili paste, I always have a jar of sambal oelek and garlic-chili paste on hand. As I mention in the notes section of the recipe, you can use whatever your favorite chili paste is- just know the heat level so you don’t make this meal too spicy! A bit of harissa paste could work.
Also, in a pinch, you could use crushed red pepper. Toast it in the ghee right before you add the spices and tomato paste. Start with 1 teaspoon and go from there. If you don’t like spice at all, swap the chili paste for a couple teaspoons smoked paprika.
What to serve it with
One of the reasons I like keeping this straight forward is it leaves room for some side dishes. You could serve up stew with a side of roasted sweet potatoes, twice-baked squash, or some simple garlicky greens.