This is the ultimate comfort food - a rich broth and creamy beans, full of late summer vegetables.
Italian Bean Stew
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 courgettes, finely sliced and then chopped
1 - 2 red or yellow capsicums (bell peppers) cored, deseeded and chopped
2 tins of chopped Italian tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1 Tsbp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight (cannellini beans are lovely)
1 tsp mixed spice
8-10 basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan coated in spray oil saute the onion, garlic and eggplants until they soften. Add the remaining ingredients except the basil, and cook for approximately 2 hours, until the beans soften. (will be less if you are using tinned beans). Taste and season, stir through the basil and serve.
This is ideal over spaghetti or polenta, and freezes very well.