Tuscan Bean Stew with Balsamic by Matt Preston

Tuscan Bean Stew with Balsamic by Matt Preston

SERVES: 4 PREP: 25 mins COOKING: 50 mins

This is a recipe is by Matt Preston from his recipe book More.

It is one of my favourite recipes, easy to make and delicious!!!


  • I tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

  • I carrot, roughly chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 400 g can cannellini or haricot beans, rinsed and drained

  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock 400 g can diced tomatoes

  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 400 g can borlotti beans, rinsed and drained

  • 400 g can butter beans, rinsed and drained

  • sea salt and freshly ground

  • black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • I tablespoon raw sugar

Tuscan Cheese Toasts

  • I tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 a bunch of kale or Tuscan cabbage leaves stripped from the stalk

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped

  • flat-leaf parsley

  • sea salt and freshly ground

  • black pepper

  • small crusty breadstick

  • olive oil spray

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • I cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese

*To make these vegan, use vegan butter or olive oil and swap out the mozzarella to vegan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.

  2. Add the cannellini or haricot beans, stock, tomatoes, bay leaves and rosemary to the dish. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook gently for IO minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.

  3. Add the borlotti and butter beans to the dish and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside for IO minutes to cool slightly. Place 250 ml ( I cup) in a jug and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Stir back into the stew and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5-8 minutes or until warmed through and thickened.

  4. While your stew simmers away, make a balsamic syrup by simmering the balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar. and raw sugar in a small frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until thick and syrupy.

  5. About 15 minutes before your stew is ready, make your cheese toasts. Preheat the grill on high. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the cabbage or kale and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or just until the cabbage starts to wilt. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

  6. Slice the bread in half lengthways and then crossways into quarters. Place the bread slices on a baking tray and spray with olive oil. Grill for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted on both sides. Rub the cut side of each slice with the garlic cloves. Top with cabbage or kale and sprinkle with mozzarella. Grill for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. Season with salt.

  7. Dot the balsamic reduction over the stew-like a beany Dalmatian and serve with the Tuscan toasts on the side.