I have previously often avoided recipes and dishes that use celery in any quantity since many bariatrics find them hard to digest. However, having recently tasted the new crop of Fenland celery I have found that it has a less stringy texture (while still delivering its famous crisp crunch). The ‘nutty-sweet’ flavour is brilliant in this dish when mixed and matched with chorizo and cannellini beans. Spiciness and heat also comes from the use of smoked paprika.
It is just the sort of warm winter stew to serve now that we are facing the colder winter months and the odd snow flurry!
I have used dried cannellini beans for this recipe so you must soak and start the recipe the day before you wish to cook and serve it. I feel sure that you could use canned beans instead but would need to reduce the cooking time and stock required substantially. I used dried beans because I also wanted to make this recipe a bariatric bargain buster one … dried beans are cheap and plentiful and offer much nourishment for the pound or buck! If you wish to make this dish vegetarian then replace the traditional chorizo with a vegetarian variety or use a flavoursome vegetarian sausage instead.
Serve in deep bowls scattered with a few celery leaves and a little crusty bread if you can tolerate it.
WINTER BEAN STEW WITH CHORIZO AND FENLAND CELERY
low-fat cooking spray
6 shallots or 1 large onion, sliced
150 g/5 oz chorizo, cut into chunky slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 head Fenland celery, about 5 sticks/stalks, each cut into 3 pieces, plus leaves to garnish
1.5 litres/61/2 cups vegetable stock/bouillon
500 g/1 lb dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1. Spritz a large non-stick pan with low-fat cooking spray. Heat, add the shallots or onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the chorizo, increase the heat and cook until the chorizo and shallots or onion are lightly caramelised.
3. Add the garlic, smoked paprika and celery and cook for 1 minute then add the stock/bouillon.
4. Finally add the drained beans with the bay leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer steadily until the beans are soft and tender. This can take between 1-11/2 hours depending upon the dryness and age of the beans. Check frequently and add a little extra water if the stew looks to be cooking dry at any stage.
5. When cooked, add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley. Serve in deep bowls scattered with a few celery leaves.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
* suitable for Freezing
CALORIES PER PORTION: 315
Image courtesy of www.fenlandcelery.co.uk