10 Jan 2022: Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

A goal for 2022 is to incorporate more vegan cooking into our rotation and to use our Instant Pot more frequently. This stew, billed as a “dump-and-go” was creamy and delicious and, most importantly easy to assemble. The only trick was remembering to soak the dried beans before cooking. Here’s where I skipped the direction for an overnight soaking. Instead, I started soaking the dried beans in the early morning – 8 hours later, the stew was ready to assemble.

Like many Instant Pot fans, I’ve found I can quickly prep a pot of dried beans and that little bit of effort is truly worth it. Canned beans can be quite good, but to me they don’t impart the creamy texture of dried beans cooked from scratch. An Instant Pot makes that ever-so-much-more easy.

This recipe comes from the website Rainbow Plant Life. Plan on about an hour’s cooking time so that the Instant Pot pressure can be released using natural release method.

Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

Nisha Vora of Rainbow Plant Life

Ingredients for the Stew

  • 12 ounces dried white beans, such as cannellini or great northern beans, soaked overnight (I opted for great northern beans)
  • 3 medium shallots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small-to-medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and grated
  • 3 1/2 cups  vegetable broth (the broth I used made this pretty salty – I’d opt for water or half water-half broth next time)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin (use 1.5 tsp if you love cumin)
  • 1 tsp sweet or hot paprika (I went with the hot)
  • Bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves + a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley and thyme, tied tightly together with kitchen twine
  • 1 ½ – 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP  tomato paste

Ingredients for Gremolata topping

  • 1 large handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems
  • 1 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1 small FRESH lemon
  • Coarse or flaky sea salt
  • For serving (optional): fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and crusty whole-grain bread

Method

  1. Pour the vegetable broth into the Instant Pot. Add the soaked and drained white beans, shallots, garlic, celery, grated potatoes, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and the bouquet garni. Stir to combine.
  2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and scoop the tomato paste on top of the other ingredients, but do not stir in, allowing the tomatoes to sit on top (this prevents the tomatoes from blocking the Instant Pot’s heat sensory and burning).
  3. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 12 minutes.
  4. While the stew is cooking, prepare the Gremolata Topping. Roughly chop the parsley. Using a Microplane, grate the garlic directly over the parsley and zest the lemon on top of this mixture, taking care to not zest the white pith underneath the skin. Mix the garlic and lemon zest into the parsley and chop until everything is finely minced. Sprinkle with a bit of the coarse or flaky sea salt.
  5. Once the 12-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release (i.e, let it release without opening the valve to VENT).
  6. Open the pot and taste for seasonings, adding more salt as needed. Transfer the stew to individual bowls, and top each with some gremolata. If desired, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and serve with whole grain bread.

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