Somerset Bean Stew

I think it is just the inclusion of the cider that makes this a Somerset Bean Stew rather than just a plain old Bean Stew, it doesn’t seem to be a traditional Somerset dish as far as I can tell, either way  the cider certainly works well in it and you get to drink the rest of the bottle. It’s based on this recipe and is very quick to make (only 2 steps!) but very tasty and satisfying, serve with mashed potato as suggested there or with some crusty bread or just on its own. For the cider I used Thatcher’s Gold but any dry cider should be ok.

Serves 4


400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
200g tin of butter beans, rinsed and drained
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 leek, halved lengthways and sliced
2 red chillis, chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
200ml dry cider
250ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil


1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic, carrot, leek and chillis for 6 minutes until soft.
2. Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, beans, cider, stock and thyme and simmer for 15-20 mins until reduced.

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