Autumn, Light Meals, Main

Butter Bean Stew with Lemon and Garlic Roasted Courgettes

I regularly make a chickpea stew – mainly because it's so tasty, but also because it's a great base for whichever roasted vegetables you enjoy eating, such as tomatoes and peppers. You can also easily adapt it by adding herbs and spices, such as harissa paste.

In this recipe, I'm using butter beans instead, which work so beautifully, especially with zesty roasted courgette served on top. It‘s a light stew that's perfect for those less-than-warm spring and summer nights we get in the UK: comforting but fresh at the same time.

I like to use good-quality beans and chickpeas that come in jars, but tinned will work just fine. If you have the time, soaking dried beans overnight is even better.

I also like to use a home-made or good-quality vegetable stock, but failing that I'll use vegetable bouillon powder. It's quick and easy to use, and still tastes delicious.



For the butter beans

2 x 600g jars or 3 x 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed (or 600g dried beans, soaked overnight and drained)

2 litres vegetable stock

1 clove garlic, peeled and bashed

Few springs fresh thyme

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the courgettes

6-8 good sized courgettes – mixed colours, if you can get them

1 lemon, sliced into four thick slices

6 cloves garlic, skin left on and bashed

Few sprigs fresh thyme

Light olive oil

To serve

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

1 lemon

A few handfuls of whichever fresh herbs you like, such as basil, oregano, thyme, mint and flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped.

Extra virgin olive oil

Crusty baguette


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
  2. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat and add the butter beans, stock, clove of garlic, thyme and olive oil. Give everything a good stir, bring to a gentle simmer, and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, while you prep the courgettes.
  3. Cut the courgettes lengthways, and roughly chop into two-inch pieces. Scatter the pieces over a large baking tray and add the lemon, garlic cloves, thyme, about 1 tbsp sea salt, and a good grind of pepper. Drizzle with a little oil, and gently mix to combine.
  4. Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and let the courgette roast for about 45 minutes, turning every now and then. Once cooked, remove the thyme stalks. The courgette should be soft and golden in places.
  5. By the time the courgette is done, the bean stew should be ready. If it's too watery for your taste, turn the heat up a little to thicken, without bringing to the boil. Season to taste, and remove the thyme stalks.
  6. Serve the butter bean stew in bowls with the courgette piled on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts, some lemon zest, the fresh herbs and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Serve with some crusty bread on the side.

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