Bean and Kale Vegetable Stew

Often when returning from a trip somewhere, I go a little nuts stocking up on produce at the grocery store. Traveling is often light on fruits and veggies, and being back in control of my kitchen gets me excited to cook up a storm.

So this week when I started to feel like I was pressing my luck with the zucchini and kale in the veggie drawer, I pulled together this Bean and Kale Vegetable Stew, adapted from Smitten Kitchen recipe I like quite a bit. Actually one of my favorite things about that recipe is how adaptable it is to whatever I have on hand. The first time I made it was the first time I had added wine to soup or stew, and it was a revelation.


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Chard and White Bean Stew

Process notes


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes, pureed
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c red wine
  • 2 c vegetable broth (made from Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base) + 1 c water
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced about 1/2 in. thick
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Cook kale in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 min., then drain and set aside.

Saute carrots, onion, and garlic in olive oil for about 15 min. Add wine and cook until it’s reduced by 3/4. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 min. Add kale and zucchini and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in vinegar and season to taste.


I don’t typically get excited about non-cream-based soups or stews, but this one really hits the spot. The darker take on the original recipe (the red wine, kidney beans, kale) is hearty and complex. I especially like it with a little grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

This stew is perfect on days that I haven’t eaten enough veggies, because it’s a whole bunch packed into one bowl.

And now I have an open bottle of red wine in the refrigerator, ready for another dish…perhaps a tomato pasta sauce of some kind.