White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale

by on October 22, 2013
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale

I’ve been hearing the internet chatter about the wonders of Rancho Gordo beans for a while, but with no Whole Foods in my town (yet), I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to try them unless I ordered them. But then I saw them in The Fresh Market (which I usually call the Froo-Froo Market because of its fancy prices) and couldn’t resist picking up these pretty Yellow-Eye Beans:

Yellow Eye Beans from Rancho Gordo

First, let me just say–Ouch! That pound of beans cost me $7-something plus tax. Regular old navy beans in Kroger cost less than a dollar a pound, and if I think too long about how many bucks I could be saving for my daughter’s education or sending to charity, I’d never buy fancy beans again. But these beans were very good–they cooked quickly in the pressure cooker, became tender without falling apart, and, most importantly, are organically grown. I won’t be shelling out the big bucks for them every day, but I was happy with their flavor and eager to try some of Rancho Gordo’s other varieties.

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale

For my first foray into fancy-bean territory, I made a relatively simple stew modeled on a traditional Chilean dish called Porotos Granados, which is usually made with fresh cranberry beans and topped with a pesto-like mixture of herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley) and hot peppers called pebre. To me, the one ingredient that makes the flavor of porotos granados different from other South American bean stews is the fresh basil, so I wanted to try a variation of it while my basil plants were still thriving. Because I like to make everything I can a one-pot meal by adding veggies, I threw in a bunch of lacinato kale. I skipped the pebre (many of you know my intolerance for cilantro), increased the seasonings significantly, and served it with some Tabasco garlic sauce. My husband loved it, I really liked it, and my daughter E (who currently claims to hate white beans and squash) ate it under protest and thought it contained too much basil. Since I’ve given up on E loving anything but pasta, I consider that a success.

Enjoy!

Susan

I have no affiliation with Rancho Gordo and have not received any compensation from them. However, this post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through them, I receive a commission that helps support this site at no cost to you. Thanks for your purchase!

Never Miss a Recipe!

You'll keep up to date with new recipes and old ones you might have forgotten when you subscribe to NewsBites, the new FatFree Vegan newsletter. It's free, so sign up today!



Leave a Comment

Thanks for visiting my site! All comments are read and appreciated, and if you have a question, I will try to respond within a couple days. Note: If you are leaving a comment for the first time, it will be held for moderation. Be patient and it will appear as soon as I have a chance to approve it.

Want to have your photo alongside your comment? Sign up for a Gravatar!

Current ye@r *

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bethan Vincent October 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I’m not sure if I would be able to get the beans here in the UK, but I would love to try this out! A perfect winter dish :D

http://www.audacityoffood.co.uk/

Reply

2 Caroline harris October 23, 2013 at 7:41 am

Try Black-eyed beans in UK – from supermarket or local Indian shop.

Reply

3 moonwatcher October 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Oh Susan, this sounds and looks great, so homey and nutritious, too. I like the spice combination and can see myself, cilantro lover that I am, making a pebre to go with it (or just being lazy and topping it with plenty of fresh cilantro–sorry!!). The pictures are mouthwateringly gorgeous.

Luckily, we have lots of options for organic beans in bulk at our co-op–just not this brand. They ARE pricier than regular old beans, but they seem to cook up more nicely too. It’s a trade off.

Thanks!!

moonwatcher

Reply

4 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook October 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

This soup is right up my alley but I would love cilantro in it! Kids go through so many phases of what they do and don’t like at the dinner table. E is so lucky to have a mom who can cook like you do!

Reply

5 shirley gordon October 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm

WHAT IF I WANT TO USE CANNED BEANS

Reply

6 Diane October 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm

If you use canned beans, they still will taste yummy…

Reply

7 ruthy October 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Can i use vegetable stock instead of water? It absolutely looks delicious!

Reply

8 Susan Voisin October 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Sure! Hope you enjoy it.

Reply

9 Johanna October 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Susan,
You have long been one of my food bloggers, and today’s entry just seals the deal. I lived in Chile for a year and half while on a mission for my church, and LOVE porotos granados. I’m super excited to try your version! Thanks for helping all of us by sharing your inspiring and delicious recipes!
Johanna

Reply

10 Leah October 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

This looks delicious! Do those beans really taste a lot different from other beans, or did you find them very similar to most?

Thank you for the recipe! I have really been enjoying your site!

Reply

11 Susan Voisin October 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Honestly, to me they didn’t taste that different from cranberry beans or great northern. It was mostly the texture that was different.

Reply

12 Christin October 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm

This looks wonderful. Real comfort food!

Reply

13 Kim Hawkins October 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I agree that the Rancho Gordo beans (and other products) are pricey. However, I consider that they are organic; Rancho Gordo is helping save and revive rare and heirloom varieties; and helping farmers in Mexico by marketing these products. So I think of the extra dollars spent as a donation to those worthy efforts.

Reply

14 janae @ bring joy October 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Those *are* pretty beans–but like you, I’d just be thinking of all the ways I could have spent the money I saved if I just used plain old navy beans :)

Reply

15 Susan Voisin October 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm

My husband read this post and called me from work. He said, “I didn’t know they cost THAT much. I wish I hadn’t found out!” :-)

Reply

16 Cheryl October 23, 2013 at 3:41 am

Maybe remind him that’s what people who don’t care about their health shell out for grass fed beef, at least here in Texas. heh

Reply

17 Susan Voisin October 23, 2013 at 7:57 am

Ha! Good point! But since we’ve never bought beef at all, he’s used to living on the cheap. Maybe what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. ;)

Reply

18 Clara October 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm

That looks absolutely delish!! Going to try this very soon…your food photography is superb :)

Reply

19 Sarah C. October 22, 2013 at 10:29 pm

This recipe sounds great – and since I have just that bag of beans in my pantry, I think I’ll be making it soon! I live on Rancho Gordo beans, and I figure that I can justify the expense because I’m not buying fancy expensive cheeses or cuts of meat like most people, and beans are my staple protein of choice. I love having beans that cook up quickly and keep their shape. Plus, it’s so fun to try so many different varieties that the grocery stores don’t carry. If you get a chance, my favorite are the Good Mother Stollard. It’s one of those beans that is way tastier than a “bean” usually is!

Reply

20 Suzanne October 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Rancho Gordo beans are the BEST! You must try the Borracho Beans (I think that is how they spell it). I found a recipe that was so simple and very few ingredients and those beans were delicious! I am fortunate to not live too far and can get to their store now and then and stock up.

Reply

21 Susan Voisin October 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

You’re so lucky! I will definitely put Borracho beans on my list to order.

Reply

22 Katie Loss October 22, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Susan I’m so happy you have discovered Rancho Gordo beans. I’ve been using them exclusively for several years because they are always fresh from the current harvest season and cook up beautifully. I just love the work this company does to keep such a wide variety of beautiful heirloom beans viable by planting and marketing them here and also working with Mexican farmers to keep their indigenous beans from disappearing. I’m so nuts about Rancho Gordo that the only thing I wanted for Christmas from my husband last year was a “subscription” to their “bean club”. I can hardly wait to open my quarterly box to see what favorites and new varieties they’ve chosen for the shipment.

Reply

23 Katie Loss October 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm

A few of my favorites from Rancho Gordo: Good Mother Stallard (delicious pot liquor!), Ayacote Negro, and Xculibul Beans. Well worth the price for the freshness and flavor, and economical compared to what I used to spend on animal proteins. Yes, I can tell the difference when I eat these varieties. The only RG beans I have not liked are the lovely looking Black Calypso beans.

Reply

24 Susan Voisin October 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

Thanks for the suggestions! Since only a couple of varieties are available here, I’m going to have to buy a bunch by mail to make the shipping cost worth it, so it’s good to know what kinds to order.

Reply

25 Caroline harris October 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

For Bethan Wilson – Black-eyed beans are almost the same in UK – from supermarkets or local Indian shop.

Reply

26 Morgan October 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

Susan, I want to start off buy saying I LOVE YOUR BLOG! You are so creative and every recipe I’ve made has turned out great so far. I have been a vegetarian for a little over a year now and thanks to your wonderful site have been becoming more vegan every time I cook one of your delicious recipes, such as Lentil Meatloaf and German chocolate beet cake I made for my birthday :D. I was wondering about the squash in this stew. Could I cut a butternut squash in half and roast it in the oven, after scooping out the seeds of course and seasoning slightly maybe, while the beans are cooking? Do you think that would be a good way to enhance the flavor of the squash (and I could roast a garlic clove at the same time with it as well)? It will take a while for the beans to fully cook since I don’t have a pressure cooker.
Thank you,
Morgan

Reply

27 Rhonda October 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Oh, wow! Our little produce stand has yellow eye beans in bulk for a buck and change per pound. I bought some and couldn’t figure out what to do with them other than beans & rice.
Yay, I am trying this ASAP…..now to find those beans…..

Reply

28 Rebecca October 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hi Susan,

I adore your soup recipes, and this one looks terrific, too! I’ll be making it using canned Great Northern Beans (unless there’s another canned bean you’d recommend); so how many cans should I plan on using to equal the 1lb of dry beans?

-x-

Reply

29 Susan Voisin October 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Thanks, Rebecca! You’ll need 3-4 cans of beans and will probably need to reduce the water a good bit (since the beans aren’t absorbing it).

Reply

30 Mina October 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

Would it be possible to make this with canned beans? If so, how much? Thanks!

Mina

Reply

31 Mina October 24, 2013 at 10:16 am

Ooops, just saw the answer in another post, sorry!

Reply

32 Emily October 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I’m another fan of Rancho Gordo. I’m so excited my favorite recipe source has discovered my favorite bean source! As long as you’re planning on ordering a few, I’d recommend Goat’s eye and Rio Zape (much more flavorful substitutes for pinto beans–I’ve used them in many of your recipes.) I also like Good Mother Stallard, Borlotti, Tepary (especially brown, which have an almost peanut-like flavor) and Scarlet Runner, though I can’t always figure out what to do with them.

Reply

33 Nancy October 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

Do you think you could do this in a crock pot?

Reply

34 stephanie December 5, 2013 at 6:00 am

It’s a little late, but for what it’s worth i made this in the crockpot twice. It took nearly 8 hours for my dried black eyed peas to soften up enough to begin the soup. With canned beans my soup was ready when I checked at the 5 hour mark, probably only needed 3 but I wasn’t home to check at that point.

Reply

35 lavi October 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I am making this as we speak but over the stove top. Cant wait to see how it tastes

Reply

36 Jen Sexton October 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I love your recipes and the White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale soup looks really good. How did you come up with 19 grams of fat per serving?
Thank you,
Jen Sexton

Reply

37 Susan Voisin October 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Jen, thanks for the kind words. It’s 19 calories from fat–2.3 grams. (Each gram of fat equals about 9 calories.)

Reply

38 Jen Sexton October 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Oh my goodness…I read that as 19 grams instead of 19 calories! My mistake!

Reply

39 Carol October 26, 2013 at 6:54 am

Hi Susan, Thanks, again, for another amazing recipe. Made this bean stew this week and LOVE it! Now that this is marked as one of my ‘go to’ recipes, I’ll have to try it next time with the Rancho Gordo beans instead of the organic navy beans I had on hand. Also made this minus the basil as my garden supply here in Northern Vermont had already gone by…. still incredible. Loved that smokey flavor that the paprika lends to the dish. Your site is a vegan foodies delight! ;)

Reply

40 PittyPat October 26, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Susan, I am so very glad I found your blog!! And now found my recipe box.
This one sounds great, and I will definitely use it tomorrow. Thanks again.

Reply

41 Maha October 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

I’m preparing the dish as I write! I’m thinking, though that, instead of 1/12 teaspoon ground cumin, you probably mean 1-1/2 teaspoons…am I correct?

Thanks for this AMAZING resource for healthy and DELICIOUS eating!!!

Reply

42 Susan Voisin October 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Oops! You’re right! I’ve made the correction to the cumin measurement. Thanks for pointing it out.

Reply

43 Tammy October 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Seriously delicious! I added a vegan Field Roast sausage to it the 2nd time around and it was a wonderful addition. Made my family happy too as they now had their “meat” in the stew.

Reply

44 Marsha October 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

I made this today for dinner for guests tomorrow, but my husband couldn’t wait, stole a bowl of it, and said it was really, really good. I found the Rancho Gordo beans at a local pricey little market, guided there by the RG website, and they are good, but wow–at $5.99–I really don’t see that much difference in the texture or flavor. I’ll see how it sits overnight, and how the guests like it. She’s sort of a bean connoisseur!

Reply

45 Andi October 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Susan, I have a problem with this recipe. I’m using navy beans and they never got soft. At the end I retrieved the kale and butternut squash as best I could and am cooking the beans separately, but it’s been an hour and a half extra and they’re still not soft so I’m about to give up. I’ve also heard that once you add salt and other ingredients to beans, they are not likely to soften further. Any advice before I strain the sauce and chuck the beans? They do taste yummy… Thanks,

Reply

46 Andi October 29, 2013 at 6:02 am

OK, well it’s too late for an answer now. I ended up reboiling the beans and it took an additional 2 hours (and that’s after soaking overnight and the original cooking I had done per the recipe). Came out fine in the end but next time I think I’ll use canned…

Reply

47 Susan Voisin October 29, 2013 at 7:43 am

Sorry about that! Beans are tricky like that. If they’ve sat around on the grocer’s shelf for a long time, they can be almost impossible to get soft. That’s part of the reason I pressure cook them. It does sound like canned would be a better alternative for you.

Reply

48 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen October 29, 2013 at 6:09 am

I love white bean and kale stews and this one looks so hearty and delicious! I will definitively be making this one up this winter! Thank you for the great recipe!

Reply

49 Howard October 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I added a few extra items .
Sliced trumpet mushrooms,peas,and tempeh.
Thank you for the recipe
Howard

Reply

50 Michelle October 29, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I just made this and it was delicious! I added a 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and it really brought out the sweetness in the squash. Not sure what that does to the nutrition facts. Thanks for the recipe!

Reply

51 Jen R November 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

If I were going to make this and can it for eating later… would you recommend cooking the squash and beans down before canning, or leaving more al dente? I am new to canning and have so far only done a veggie soup :) Thank you!

Reply

52 Susan Voisin November 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

Oh gosh, Jen, I’m not the one to ask because I never almost can. And I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong because improperly canned foods are dangerous. I’m also afraid that this might not have enough acidity to can safely. I would ask a canning expert, if you can find one.

Reply

53 Jane November 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I’m eating this right now. Absolutely delicious! Thank you :-)

Reply

54 Orthohawk November 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hey, Katie Loss, how many pounds of beans do you get in each shipment?
imagine my chagrin when I visited the website and they’re OUT OF STOCK ON THE BEAN CLUB! I have a feeling it’s because of the apron in the first shipment and I’m tempted to tell them to forget about it, I just want the beans!

Reply

55 waldripp November 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I made this today and wow it is good! We have a Fresh Market here so I tried the Rancho Gordo beans and I loved how they held their texture. They are expensive so I won’t be getting them very often, but are a fun splurge, and I appreciate the efforts behind what they are doing. I used vegetable broth for part of the liquid and really enjoyed the combination of spices! Thanks so much!

Reply

56 Randi November 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Made this tonight. It was delicious. Added one jalapeno and love the heat!

Reply

57 Lope November 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Totally making this tomorrow night. I think I have all the ingredients, too, except for the pumpkin.

Reply

58 Orthohawk November 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I made this the other day with Mayo Coba beans (aka canary or peruvian beans) and it was yummy (plus a lot less expensive!).

Reply

59 mikaelah November 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi Susan,
I just finished making this soup – and it is DELICIOUS! I used the Rancho Gordo beans andI had some Red Kuri squash – so I used that. Perfect, perfect perfect!!!

Reply

60 Samantha December 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

This sounds delicious!!! I am going to attempt to make this tomorrow night in my crock pot! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Reply

61 stephanie December 5, 2013 at 5:50 am

Oh my gosh! Delicious!
I’ve made this twice since you posted it and it is def a winner. The first time I used black eyed peas and the second time I went with canned cannellinis. Both times the soup was yummy to the max, but I have to admit it was much better with black eyed peas due to the texture of the beans themselves and the texture they imparted to the liquid. Any kind of cow pea should have the same effect as a yellow eye or black eye.

Reply

62 shirley gordon December 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

if i used canned beans how many cans would i use?013

Reply

63 Debby December 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Your recipe for White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale was wonderful. I used plain old Navy Beans and replaced the Butternut Squash for a couple of mini pumpkins we had left over from Thanksgiving. Along with topping the soup with the fresh basil, we included fresh squeezed lime juice. Yummy!

Reply

64 Marissa Luck February 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Hey Susan! I was wondering when you say “1 pound beans, soaked” do you mean that I should have 1 pound’s worth of cooked beans or that I should soak a pound of dry beans?
Thanks I love your blog! Been a fan for years!

Reply

65 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Hi Marissa, I mean that you should soak a pound of dried beans overnight. Thanks for being a loyal reader! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Reply

66 Marissa Luck February 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Thanks Susan! I ended up using dehydrated navy beans and found that 1 pound was roughly a little under 3 cups’ worth of dry beans. I used the quick soak method beforehand and the beans only took about 45 minutes on the stove to become tender.
Also some substitutions were in order because of had in the kitchen! :
- I used a mix of sweet potato and butternut squash since I didn’t have enough squash, and it was delicious.
- I didn’t have a bell pepper so I used more diced tomatoes (I actually used 1 whole 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and used some of the can’s sauce to contribute to the water at the end).
- I added some lemon juice at the very end, along with a touch more paprika and dried basil.
The recipe ended up yielding much more than 6 servings when I made it this way. But it’s great b/c I can freeze the leftovers! : )

Hope those notes help for anyone else who makes this!

Reply

67 Tonie February 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

This recipe will be a keeper!!! I just made it tonight with some leftover kidney beans I had cooked earlier and some butternut squash which I had broiled previously in the oven. The soup was thick and delicious and it looked just like the picture!! Thank you Susan!

Tonie

Reply

68 Sandy February 16, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Just made this and we loved it. I used Great Northern beans. I’ll try Rancho Gordo next time. The leftovers were really good drained and wrapped in tortillas with hot sauce. We had this for breakfast and loved it this way too.

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: