Who would have thought beans and fish go together? Certainly not me. Well! This hearty beans stew with white fish packs a punch. The complex flavours of thyme and smoked paprika combined, takes this dish to a different level…and as usual, it is very quick to prepare.
On a recent trip to Italy, I ate Tuscan fish with white beans; it was so delicious, I knew I had to replicate it – with shortcuts of course! This was the inspiration for this beans and white fish stew. I used canned butter beans and frozen fish for convenience and it still tasted amazingly delicious.
Is Canned Beans Good For You?
As a young adult, I didn’t like beans mainly because of the time required to cook beans from the scratch, but I still ate it because it was one of the most important sources of non-animal protein available. It was cheap; and my mum liked it. She called the shot, so my family didn’t really have a choice.
That was before I discovered canned beans! They have now become one of my kitchen cupboard staples. There are so many different varieties, with different taste and textures; I just have to pick the right one for my meal. Canned beans is convenient, all you have to do is open a can. There's no need to deal with the advance planning of soaking the beans the night before; which is just perfect for work evenings.
Finally, there’s not a lot of difference nutritionally between dry beans cooked from the scratch and canned beans, as long as you buy the brands without added salt or sugar (most of the supermarket brands canned beans in the UK do not have added sugar and salt). It is still the same beans – rich in protein, carbohydrates and fibre; so, it is a win-win situation
Beans Stew Recipe
I used butter beans for this beans stew because of its creamy texture and rich flavour. Butter beans are mature lima beans, and they have a larger appearance compared to other bean types. However, this recipe is easily adaptable, and you can use other types of beans. You can also cook your beans from the scratch if you prefer.
You can replace the cod with other white fish types like pollock and haddock. If the fish breaks into smaller pieces when you stir the stew; don’t worry about it. It allows the fish to absorb more of the fantastic flavours which comes from the combination of smoked paprika, basil and parsley.
Beans Stew with Fish
- Pour the oil in a pan under medium heat.
- Fry the onions in the oil until soft and translucent
- Add paprika and chilli flakes to the pan and stir continuously for 30 secs to prevent burning.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes with juice.
- Add the beans and the fish. Stir the content of the pan, and add some salt to taste.
- Cover the pan allow to cook for a few minutes.
- Add the spinach and remove the pan from heat.
- Pour in the chopped basil and parsley, then mix thoroughly.