Updated: Sep 2, 2020
A simple bean stew in a vegetable broth, flavoured with roasted garlic, lemon and tomatoes (optional), served with fresh herbed flatbreads.
2 stalks of celery, plus the little leafy ones in the middle of the bunch
Tin of borlotti beans/chickpeas/butter beans
Green leaves (spinach, cavolo nero)
Herbs & spices: Chill, garlic (tube/jar/fresh), fresh thyme & parsley, bay leaves, paprika
Plain yoghurt (soya)
Luxury version (optional)
Cup of white/red wine
Bulb of fresh garlic
PREP Put oven on 200°/180° fan/gas mark 7. Chop top off garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Put a handful of cherry tomatoes in a dish with a splash of olive oil. Put garlic and tomatoes in oven, middle shelf.
Slice 1-2 leeks and 2-3 celery stalks (plus the leafy green bits in the middle). Dice 1 carrot finely and cut 2 carrots into chunks.
COOK Cook your leeks, diced carrot and celery in pot on medium heat until caramelised (~10 mins).
Add in this order, stirring after each ingredient: 1tsp/2 cloves of garlic (or jarred stuff), chopped fresh chilli, dried chilli, 2tsp smokey paprika, 2tsp of any dried green herbs (thyme, oregano, mixed herbs).
Add in 50g of barley. Mix everything together for 1 minute.
Add in a tin of drained borlotti beans and enough stock/water to cover everything by an inch. Add sprigs of fresh thyme and 2 bay leaves. Simmer while you make the flatbreads.
In a big bowl mix 125g of flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 0.5-1tsp of salt, chopped fresh herbs (any or all: parsley, mint, thyme) and 1tsp of dried green herbs. Add 1/2tsp of garlic powder if you like.
In a measuring jug add 45ml of milk (soya is fine), 3tbsp of plain yoghurt, 2tsp of oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Mix HALF of the wet mixture into the dry flour mixture with a fork. Then bit by bit at the wet stuff - you're looking for a slightly sticky texture.
Note, you may not need all of the liquids.
Kneed for a minute and then rest for 5 mins.
Check your garlic. If it's done, you'll be able to put a sharp knife through the thickest clove very easily.
Mash half of the roasted garlic cloves with the roasted tomatoes. Remove the tomato skins if you can. Mix this paste into your stew.
Mix the remaining garlic cloves with some butter or oil - this will be spread onto your warm flatbreads.
Check your stew and add more water if needed.
Back to the breads: add a drizzle of oil over the dough and knead for a few seconds (this is to make it easily to handle).
Pull off a golf-ball sized bit of dough, roll in your hand then flatten on a floured surface. Roll out until about a millimetre thick. Do this for all the dough.
Griddle/frying pan on medium heat. When it's hot, add as many flatbreads as you can in one layer and add a lid. Steam for 2 minutes. Turn over, no lid now, and cook until you get nice brown bits on both sides. Wrap in a tea towel. You may need to do two batches.
(Any left over dough can be put in the fridge until tomorrow and then cooked fresh).
Return to your stew. When the barley is tender to your liking, add lots of spinach/kale/cavalo nero and simmer until that is melted in.
GARNISH Serve the stew topped with a handful of fresh parsley and wedges of lemon.
Eat with your warm flatbreads smothered in garlic butter.
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