I am certain that every household has its own bean stew recipe, and so does ours. We both prefer more liquid bean stew, without the flour as a thickening agent. That means that as a thickening agent I use the starch beans naturally give through the cooking process. I also like to add carrots and parsley, and spices that compliment the beans.

You soak the beans the night before so it re-hydrates and becomes flavorful and easier to digest. The bloating happens due to the inability of our body to digest the complex chemical compounds (oligosaccharide). With soaking those compounds start to degrade in water and the phytic acid level decreases. So yes to soaking the dried legumes!

Grah varivo


Bean stew

Recipe for bean stew with accompanying vegetables
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 large portions



  • 250 g cranberry (borlotti) beans
  • 5 l water
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) salt


  • beans
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) oil
  • 1 medium sized (100 g) onion
  • 2 large (200 g) carrots
  • 100 g bacon/pancetta avoid if cooking vegetarian, adjust salt accordingly
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 30 g parsley leaf
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2,6 l water
  • 1/2 tbsp (8 g) salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper reduce by half if you'd like
  • sausages optional



  • Soak the beans in 1 l of cold water overnight (8-12 h).
  • Drain and rinse the next day and put in a pot with 4 l of water. Cook up until it starts to boil, then add the salt and reduce the flame to medium high heat and gently boil for 1 h.
  • Drain and rinse.


  • Ina large pot, heat up the oil and add the finely chopped onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
  • Add the diced carrots and 50 ml of water and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the bacon, sliced in larger pieces, chopped up parsley stalks (save the leaves for later), grated garlic, bay leaves and 50 ml of water and saute for 5 min.
  • After that add the paprika and tomato pure and fry for a minute until just fragrant. At that point add the beans and saute for 2 more minutes.
  • Pour with 2,5 l of water, add salt and pepper and bring up to boil. Then reduce the heat to medium high and cook for 45 minutes, without a lid.
  • If you'd like to add the sausages, cook them separately until half way done and add to the beans for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
  • When cooked, taste and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley leaves and stir well.

Grah varivo

Serve with some home made bread and enjoy!

T 🙂


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