Shell Beans and Summer Vegetables Stewed in Their Own Juices

inspired by a recipe in Local Harvest by Deborah Madison

Cut all vegetables into large pieces.  Adjust based on what you have on hand, this is a great “fridge cleaning” recipe

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped into large pieces
  • 7 plump garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 12 small carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 pound small new potatoes
  • 1/2 pound yellow wax, green, or purple beans, ends trimmed
  • 5 medium tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 pounds summer squash or zucchini, cut into large pieces
  • shelling beans, shelled
  • pesto
  1. Warm the 3 Tbs oil with bay leaves in a large casserole or Dutch oven over low heat.  When fragrant, add onions, 6 of the garlic cloves, 2 of the thyme sprigs, and the sage.  Cover and cook while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Leave small carrots whole or cut fat ones into 4-inch lengths.  Add to pot right away.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  If the potatoes are about the size of large marbles, let them be, otherwise quarter.  Lay the potatoes on top of the onions and carrots, add a little more salt and pepper.  Cut beans into 3 inch pieces and add them, along with the rest of the veggies except the shelling beans, to the pot, seasoning each layer.
  3. Cover and cook until the veggies are tender, about 40 minutes to an hour.  If tightly covered no extra liquid should be added, if needed add a few teaspoons water or white wine.
  4. While the veggies are cooking, simmer shell beans in water to cover with remaining garlic and thyme and a little olive oil.  When tender, after 30 to 45 minutes, add beans, with any liquid to the pot.
  5. Serve vegetables in soup plates with a little pesto on top.

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