Finally! Sheesh. White bean stew with biscuits. Asked for many times. And waited for even longer. Sorry. ;) Instead of calling it a white bean stew I went ahead and changed it to a bean stew. The main reason I did this was because I didn't want to leave my house (It's hard and not worth it, alone with a baby, when you only need a few items) to buy white beans. I used garbanzo beans instead which were just as equally delicious, if not more delicious. Feel free to use whatever bean you feel fitting or you prefer. I wouldn't recommend straying to far from the vegetablse listed, I mean, you can, and while some other vegetables would work, many others might just be weird. When I orginally attempted this, I used the recipe from: Veganomicon it came out... um, okay. I don't know. Every step of the way I questioned the recipe and was like "this seems backwards. Why am I doing this? Next time I'm making my own". So yeah, thats what I did. The basic idea was adapted from the book, but the cooking set up, directions, seasoning (and maybe the ingredients?) are different. I also used a completely different biscuit recipe than the one found in Veganomicon. I wanted a biscuit with more flavor and buttery goodness. Because there are the two parts to this recipe, you will have to multi-task quite a bit. You need to be pretty good at cooking with a baby (if you have one) or asking a friend to help is always nice :) This is a really hearty and filling meal, great for cold days, or days where you just need a little extra comfort and loving inside your gut. I hope you enjoy it as much as Marlowe and I do :)
-Onion: small chopped. Half.
-Two Carrots. I small chopped one for the mirepoix and chopped the other into larger pieces for stew heartiness.
-Celery: One or two. (Very) small chopped
-Mushrooms: (optional, but totally recommend. They give the soup more heartiness and an earthy flavor). I had four left in my fridge.... so thats what I used.
-Two Small Potatoes: cut to match the size of your bean (or slightly larger)
-Garlic: diced and sliced, whatever you prefer. Doesn't have to look pretty, just makes the soup (and everything) better.
-Green Onion (or leeks): chopped.
-Beans: White, garbanzo, or whatever you have or like, just don't do anything like black beans, cause that would be weird.
-Peas (I always have frozen. It's a staple item in my freezer)
-Butter or Oil. I used a little of both.... I ran out of both this day. (reoccurring theme, right?) I use Earth Balance Vegan butter. You can find it at most grocery stores, it's not a specialty item or anything, but it is delicious.
-Vegetable Stock (or other stock or water)
-Herbs. Lots of them. Fresh is better. Dried is fine. Thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, and whatever else might be growing in your garden. I left out my spearmint.
-Flour: A few tablespoons.
-Salt & Pepper
-Nutritional Yeast (optional)
(And I think I even threw in a bit of cumin, cause I can't help but do it, quote Modern Family, and giggle.)
For the biscuits: I followed THIS RECIPE, until the last step. Super easy, delicious too.
Prep everything. Wash and drain garbanzos, clean and chop all the veggies, and grab some herbs.
And onion, green onion, mushrooms, celery, and the small cut batch of carrots to a well buttered or oiled, heated pot. Saute and allow everything to cook down and caramelize a bit.
Once everything has cooked down a bit and onions are translucent: add larger carrots. Stir.
Add garlic. Stir.
Add herbs. I added a little more than double the amount pictured.
Add potatoes. Stir. Salt and Pepper. Turn the heat to medium low and let everything cook for a while, stirring occasionally. You really want the flavors to blend together, all while allowing your potatoes to soften (not completely, but a bit). This might be a good time to start your biscuits, if you haven't already done it.
Make sure your veggies have a bit of moisture. They should still have some left from the oils and the mushrooms. If not, don't be afraid to add a bit more oil or butter. Add about one and a half to two tablespoons of flour and blend well, into the vegetables. You are going to have some browning on the bottom of the pot, but this will come off later and give some extra flavor to the stew.
Bring heat back up to medium/medium high and slowly start adding stock to your pot. Maybe a quarter cup at a time (at first). You want the stock to simmer on the bottom so that the brown goodness cooks off the bottom while you stir it in. Add more stock, stir, and scrape the bottom more. Add enough stock to cover vegetables. Add beans. Bring to simmer and allow to cook until potatoes are fully soft. (Work on your biscuits!) Taste and season. Feel free to add more herbs, spices, or nutritional yeast, and of course: salt and pepper. Add peas. Turn off heat. And stir. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
So.... you've been working on your biscuit dough right? I mean, at this point your kitchen should either be spotlessly clean and you're like *oh crap, I forgot the biscuits!* or your kitchen should be a mess and you've got a big lump of dough in front of you. Instead of rolling, cutting, and all that jazz, you just pull chucks off the dough and roll them into one and a half inch balls. (For reference: I've got small hands.)
Plop (nicely place) your biscuit circles on top of the stew. The stew should be thick enough so that biscuits mostly sit on top with little sinking.
Place the whole pot into pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the size of your biscuits and oven you've got (I've got a crappy one, that gets and stays incredibly hot from the bricks in it) it will take different lengths of time. You want the biscuits to be firm to the touch and slightly browning.
Once the biscuits were done, I actually pulled the whole pot out of the oven and Michelle and I drove it over to my brothers house (without the lid on) for my sister-in-laws *I'm making you dinner for your birthday dinner* This is optional, but, once I arrived to my brothers, I brushed a bit more melted Earth Balance on the biscuits and placed the pot under the broiler for a few minutes for optimum browning.
Serve and enjoy :)
ps. Maybe you've noticed, I've been trying to keep up with reply comments lately. It's been working well, for now. Feel free to leave questions in the comments. And as far as emails.... you can imagine, my inbox is pretty full... I'm working on it ;)
pps. if you notice the stew isn't thick enough to place the biscuits comfortably on top you can always add a mixture of flour/water and cook for longer. The more flour, the thicker it will be <3