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Basque butterbean stew

publication date: Nov 6, 2007
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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This simple combination of onions, peppers and smoked paprika is typical of the Basque regions of Northern Spain and France.

Serves 1-2
Vegetarian, Vegan
Time: 12-15 minutes
Cost: 50-£1 a head

1 small to medium onion (about 100g)
2 tbsp light olive oil or sunflower oil
125g frozen peppers or a small red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp paprika (preferably Spanish pimenton)
A small (200g) tin of tomatoes or 1/2 a 400g tin
1 x 400g tin of butter beans or chickpeas drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Peel and halve the onion and slice it thinly. Put a large frying pan or wok over a medium heat, add the oil, heat for 30 seconds then add the onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften then add the peppers. Continue to stir fry for another 3 - 4 minutes  then add the garlic and paprika, stir and cook for a minute or two more. Tip in the tomatoes and their juice, breaking them up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook the vegetables for another 2 minutes then add the drained butterbeans and cook for another 3-4 minutes until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in the parsley if you have some, then serve in a large soup bowl (or bowls)


* Without the beans this also makes a great sauce for pasta or a topping for a baked potato. You could also serve it with a couple of fried eggs.

* Frozen fried peppers are a good economy buy - typically quite a bit cheaper than fresh peppers though you can't really eat them raw.


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