For more Lenten recipes, see our Greek Foods of Lent.
For recipes and more on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, see our blogs here.
The recipe below partners with the corresponding episode on our new YouTube cooking series, Flippin’ Greek! ™, to show you how we do it in our kouzina. Join us!
By using canned beans, normal cooking time is cut in half. If you’re not pressed for time, use traditional dried beans for a more nutrient-packed stew (see preparation following step 3).
To turn this recipe into a soup, just add another 2 cups of broth.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes (plus standing, if using dried beans)
COOKING TIME: about 1 hour (about 1 hour 10 minutes, if using dried beans)
SERVINGS: 6 to 8
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (15 oz each) Northern beans, cannellini beans, or black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained*
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or canned plum tomatoes with juices, seeds removed
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), plus fresh sprigs for garnish
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups spinach leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup small pasta (like ditalini, pastina, or Greek kouskousaki)
4 ounces crumbled Greek feta (if not fasting from dairy)
Sliced lagana or crusty bread, for serving
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans and stir gently to coat with oil. Add the tomato, bay leaf, thyme, and just enough broth to cover. Bring to a boil.
2. Partially cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the stew is thick and creamy, about 40 minutes (add pasta, if using, after 30 minutes of cooking and continue to cook for another 10 minutes).
3. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the spinach and parsley. Cover and cook just until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes more (do not overcook). Remove from heat. Lightly drizzle each serving with olive oil, top with feta (if using), and garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve hot with crusty bread on the side, if using.
*DRIED BEANS PREP: Use 2 cups dried beans, picked over and rinsed well.
Place beans in a large bowl and fill with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches; soak overnight at room temperature. Drain and rinse well. Add to stew as directed and cook until the beans are tender but not falling apart, about 50 minutes. Add pasta, if using, the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Place beans in a large pot filled with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well. Add to stew as directed and cook until the beans are tender but not falling apart, about 50 minutes. Add pasta, if using, the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Recipe copyright © Kukla's Kouzina
I hope you enjoy our Greek-island bean stew. Join us next week for another Lenten recipe—no meat, lots of flavor!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
ABOUT Kukla’s Kouzina Flippin’ Greek! ™
Flippin’ Greek! ™ is our new cooking series on YouTube and the next exciting chapter in our kouzina. Every Monday we flip a familiar non-Greek recipe to Greek-island style using ingredients and cooking techniques found in Karpathos. Each episode runs 2 to 15 minutes, the perfect length for us to quickly show you how to recreate foods and beverages/cocktails right alongside us.
The ingredients used in Greek-island cuisine is what sets this style of cooking apart from standard Greek fare, giving meals a fresh take that keeps them interesting. Karpathos, the home of Kukla’s Kouzina, has its own unique style, and we’ll show you how to take common dishes and reinvent them into Karpathian versions with our simple substitutions.
Many think that everyday Greek cooking is made up of dishes like spanakopita (spinach pie), moussaka, and pastitsio. These are classics for sure, but too time-consuming to make on a regular basis. During our time in Karpathos, we learned that the locals’ quick meals made from the island’s staples like fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, and protein, prepared using certain methods, came out tasting Greek-island delicious. So we thought this would be a great way to bring our hometown flavor into YOUR kouzina, adding some spicy variety to your life while keeping it simple and fast. Recipes for each week will be posted right here on our blog with links to the episodes.
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