Butter Bean Recipes - Vegan & Gluten-Free
Three recipes showcasing the versatility of the cheap n'n cheerful butterbean.
butter bean, recipe, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, whole food
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Beautiful Butter Bean Recipes

Starting today, I will be showcasing a different ingredient every fortnight. Recipes will be things I eat, which means plant-based whole foods. My aim is to share with you affordable, nutritious and delicious meals that are easy-peasy to prepare. What’s not to love?

The first ingredient to be showcased is…

The Butter Bean!

 

I promise you, this large creamy bean is just divine. And better yet, they are super cheap; especially if you buy them dried and cook them at home. Wanna know how?

The slow cooker method

 

This is my favourite way to cook butter beans, quite simply because it’s the easiest! There’s no need to pre-soak the beans overnight if you’re using this method.

  • Give the beans a rinse and pick out any that look a bit dodgy
  • The beans can double in size, so take that in to account e.g. don’t fill your slow cooker to the top with beans!
  • Pop them in your slow cooker, cover with water so that it’s about 2inches / 5cm above the beans
  • Cook on a low heat for 8 hours

 

Admit it. Easy-peasy.

 

The saucepan method

 

I don’t cook beans this way often because I’m usually not prepared enough to remember to pre-soak them the night before I want to cook them. High five to you if you’re that organised!

  • Soak beans in plenty of cold water overnight / 8 hours. Pick out any that look a bit dodge.
  • The beans can double in size, so make sure your bowl is big enough to accommodate that
  • Rinse beans and pop in a saucepan, cover with water so that it’s about 2inches / 5cm above the beans
  • Bring to the boil, boil for 10 minutes, simmer for 50 minutes. Keep an eye and add more water if necessary.

 

Still pretty easy, right?

Three recipes to use these butter bean beauties

 

All recipes are suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets.

 

1. Butter Bean Chilli

Firstly I need to say a big thank you to Jamie Oliver who inspired this dish. I’ve adapted his ‘Smoky Veggie Chilli’ recipe from the rather good Super Food Family Classics recipe book, (which is also a bargain at £7 from amazon at the mo).

This recipe called for a griddle pan, which I don’t have. It also called for cocoa powder, which I didn’t have. And chilli, which I don’t like. So here’s my version instead; you’ll just have to click on the links above to buy his book if you want the ‘proper’ version!

My version tastes damn good though.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 unpeeled sweet potatoes, chunks
  • 2 or 3 sweet peppers, chunks
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 250g cooked butter beans (or 1 tin)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
  • garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon powder (veg stock)

 

Method:

 

  • Add oil to large saucepan or casserole pot; slowly cook onion on low heat for 5-10 minutes
  • Add garlic, cumin seeds & paprika, stir for a minute
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Fill empty tomato tin with water and add that to pan
  • Leave to simmer with lid on, slightly ajar for 45 minutes until thickened, stir often
  • Serve with jacket potato & salad, or rice

 

2. Butter Bean Soup

Thanks for this recipe goes very clearly to Rose Elliot and her fab Guardian article that encouraged me to try a selection of butter bean recipes and also introduced me to the slow cooker method.

Rose is a vegetarian food writer and author of a book on my wishlist, New Complete Vegetarian. It’s got fantastic reviews, but I haven’t read it myself so can’t say very much apart from I’d really like to read it.

I didn’t have fresh parsley as the original recipe calls for, but feel free to add it if you have some in your garden (or if you’re a local, get yourselves to Clarence Park where there is a whole bed of edibles planted for the community to take home and enjoy). However, the soup certainly didn’t taste like anything was missing so don’t go wasting almost £1 on a supermarket bunch if that’s your only option.

I didn’t expect much from this recipe. Boy was I in for a pleasant surprise. It’s a wonder. Try it.

Makes 2 – 3 servings.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 or 3 leeks, sliced
  • 250g cooked butter beans (or 1 tin)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon powder (veg stock)

 

Method:

 

  • Add oil to large saucepan; slowly sweat leeks for 5-10 minutes with the lid on
  • Add beans plus 1 litre of water and bouillon powder
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes
  • Taste and add salt & pepper to your liking
  • Enjoy soup as it is, or if you prefer it thicker use a hand blender to blitz briefly, leaving some of the beans whole

 

 

3. Butter Bean Dip / Spread

I owe my thanks again to Rose Elliot’s Guardian article for this recipe.

Of course I changed it a little; partly because I refuse to waste money on over-priced herbs, partly because I’m not a fan of the tabasco the original recipe called for.

I really enjoyed this dip on some oat crackers, but it was a little dry I must admit. It think this would be much better enjoyed as Rose suggests, with some toasted pitta and some veg sticks (crudités, if you wanna be fancy, but erm, I don’t).

 

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 250g cooked butter beans (or 1 tin)
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • juice of half a lemon
  • garlic clove, crushed
  • splash of water

 

Method:

 

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor
  • Whiz to combine, you may need to add more water to loosen the mixture
  • A hand blender can be used instead of a food processor (but I haven’t tested this)
  • Taste and add salt & pepper to your liking
  • Store in an airtight container such as a jar for up to 5 days in the fridge
  • Enjoy with veg sticks, pitta or crackers

 

Shopping List

If you’re now inspired to give these a go, which I very much hope you are, here’s a shopping list of everything you’ll need to make all three dishes. Check your cupboards and pretty please buy the rest from local businesses; we need you!

From your local whole food shop (Replenish Weston if you live in Weston-super-Mare, obv!)

– 255g dried butter beans (or three tins)
– 1 tin of tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
– 3 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
– 1 teaspoon dill
– 2 tablespoons bouillon powder
– nut butter
– oil
– capers
– optional: rice to serve with main

From your local green grocer (I recommend Gardner’s Fruits on Big Lamp Corner if you live in Weston-super-Mare)

 

– 1 onion
– 2 sweet potatoes
– 2/3 sweet peppers
– garlic
– 2/3 leeks
– 1 lemon
– optional: jackets & salad for main, veg for snack

 

I would love to see any pictures of your recipe creations! Head on over to The Great Replenish Weston Community to share your food pics. Or, do go ahead and comment below with/ any tips on how you improved the dishes and/or other butter bean recipes we should try.

 

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