Ways to cure a snow-filled, bone chilling Monday?

Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew I howsweeteats.com

I’ll go first.

Spiked coffee with whipped cream. Like this morning. Currently debating whether it will hurt or help. Leaning towards the latter.

Binge watching 90s shows. I’m picking California Dreams.

Wait though. Also binge watching the Olympics. I CAN’T GET ENOUGH! I’ve traded in my country music star dreams for figure skater dancing wishes for the time being. I’m deathly afraid of heights but want to learn how to luge.

Taylor Dayne pandora station. Doooooo it.

Making these muffins.

See also: manicure, yoga class, magazine reading bender, neon pink flower splurge, taking notes in a Lisa Frank notebook. Hologram unicorns solve all problems.

Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew I howsweeteats.com

And crazy good soup that is so thick that you’re not even sure if it’s soup, but it is soup. But so, so, SO thick and creamy that is necessitates a fat hunk of baguette for dipping. Because… BAGUETTE.

I’m about ready to tell all this snow to go take a hike. A long walk off a short pier. All last week I wore the hottest pink lipstick to ward off evil snow demons.

I bought dyed grocery store flowers that turned the water in my makeshift mason jar vase pink and lime green, but brightened up the house nonetheless. I’m super ready for it to be light outside past the hour of 5PM and I’m dying to go outside and walk walk walk.

Instead I’m creating permanent dents in my couch cushions and burning my lap with hot bowls of soup.

Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew I howsweeteats.com

This minute I saw this stew it reminded me of mother lovett’s bean soup which I shared almost two years ago to this day. That ranks up there as one of my favorite comfort foods and it’s all because of those darn beans – they get so starchy and thick and creamy, you’d almost think that you had added potatoes or half and half to the soup. It’s a substantial and comforting meal. And besides my irrational fear of purchasing a ham bone, it’s one of my lifelong favorites.

Then I saw this and realized no ham bone required. And saw green stuff and thought “health!” And… also thought “bread.”

This pot is so incredibly full of flavor. A little bit of bacon goes a long way and the anchovies melt into the oil, providing a ton of salty, nutty flavor. The beans fall apart and the greens add a bit of chew. It’s perfect for scooping. Perfect for today!

I’m so in love.

Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew I howsweeteats.com


Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew

Yield: serves 4 to 6

Prep Time: overnight bean soaking (or at least 4 hours in hot water)

Total Time: 4 hours


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 anchovies, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 slices bacon, finely diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound of uncooked cannellini white beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
6 cups water
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 bunch of flat-leaf spinach (about 2 cups)
2 cups of arugula greens, chopped
shave parmesan for topping
a crusty baguette for serving


Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the anchovies and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes, stirring well, and saute until the anchovies melt into the oil. Add in the bacon, onion, salt, pepper and paprika and toss to coat. Cook until the bacon crisps and the onion softens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the soaked beans, water, stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are falling apart, most of the water is absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy. I simmered mine covered for about 1.5 hours, then took the lid off for the remaining time. If at any time the stew seems to be drying out, add more water or stock.

Use a potato mashed and smash some of the beans to give the mixture a thicker consistency. If it seems too thick, you can add a bit of water or stock - however much you'd like to get to the consistency you desire. Stir in the kale, spinach and arugula. Toss in the remaining pepper flakes. Cook over low heat, stirring until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired, adding more pepper flakes, salt and pepper if you'd like.

Serve immediately with shaved parmesan some crusty bread!

[slightly adapted from bon appetit, february 2014 issue]

Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew I howsweeteats.com

that bowl deserves a face smash.

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142 Responses to “Creamy Parmesan White Bean Stew with Spicy Greens.”

  1. #
    Madison — February 10, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    This isn’t the typical bean soup…this is kicked out several notches and that makes me happy! Looks so good.


  2. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 10, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    This is total comfort food. Love it! And it’s amazing how beans get so starchy and thick and creamy without cream, potatoes or anything! pinned


  3. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 10, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    I am soooooooooo wanting to spike my Coffee this morning. Should I? It would make for a great Monday. ha ha Your Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew looks just amazing! Perfect for these chilly days and I bet it would make great for leftovers too!! Enjoy your Monday!!!


  4. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — February 10, 2014 @ 8:18 am

    I love how thick this is! And I have a ridiculous amount of dried beans sitting around, so I’m definitely making this in the coming week.

    I’ve gotten over my childhood dream of being a figure skater. Now I just want to be one of those cool slope style snowboarders. Did you see the men’s final?! INSANE.


  5. #
    Taylee @ twist me fit — February 10, 2014 @ 8:20 am

    Okay, this looks good and I don’t even like beans!


  6. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — February 10, 2014 @ 8:26 am

    LISA FRANK! I totally forgot about me elementary school favorite. Hologram unicorns do solve all problems.
    This stew looks so creamy and delish…I bet if you paired it with said hologram unicorns it would be epic enough to solve world peace.
    Exaggeration? Not in the slightest.


  7. #
    Genn — February 10, 2014 @ 8:45 am

    Oh my goodness this looks like the perfect cold weather soup!!!! It looks pretty affordable, which is great because, as a college student, I’m always on the lookout for yummy, cheap recipes!!


  8. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 10, 2014 @ 8:51 am

    Ooh yes I need this!! Preferably while on the couch watching the Olympics. On that note, I nearly fell off the treadmill today while watching the speed skating – Seems I can’t watch all that racing and corner-turning and manage to stay in control of my legs!


  9. #
    Gail {A Healthy Hunger} — February 10, 2014 @ 8:54 am

    Me: on the couch, legs crossed with comfy blanket over my lap and a bowl of this in my face. I am amazed that there isn’t any cream in this dish. Devilishly deceptive. Love it!


  10. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — February 10, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    White beans are my savoir for when ever I need comfort of mashed potato. This way it is so much easier and no need for carb overload (helpful after watch all those ice skaters)
    I am in blazing weather right now but I still could go for a bowl of these beans while Olympic watching


  11. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — February 10, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    This is something that I’d totally devour for an easy dinner. Love the pictures, too.


  12. #
    Kayley Maybe — February 10, 2014 @ 9:00 am

    I found LIsa Frank stickers in the One Spot at Target and gave them to my daughter, and she LOVED them. So now I have little Lisa Frank stickers all over my house :)

    Soup looks awesome, especially since we’re setting new cold and snow records here in the midwest…


  13. #
    Joanne — February 10, 2014 @ 9:01 am

    Any post that references California Dreams is the mark of a kindred spirit! They just don’t make shows like that anymore. And it’s so perfect to watch while soup inhaling! I mean..eating.


  14. #
    Caitlin — February 10, 2014 @ 9:13 am

    YES to Olympics binge watching, dented couch cushions, and this stew!!


  15. #
    Jenny Flake — February 10, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    In love with this recipe Jess!! Warm with my favorite flavors! Lovely :)


  16. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — February 10, 2014 @ 9:30 am

    This looks delicious!!!!


  17. #
    DessertForTwo — February 10, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    Yum! I just made your creamy white bean tuscan pasta a few weeks ago, and LOVED it. I’m such a bean lover. They’re so comforting. I love this version, too! Gotta make it!


  18. #
    Kate Woods — February 10, 2014 @ 9:37 am

    Looks sooo good!! If I want to be laaazzyyy and use canned beans, would this be 2 cans, 3 cans? How many cans ya think? I cant wait to make this!


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

      i think it would be about 3-4 cans – but i’d drain and rinse first! also decrease the liquid, maybe start with 4-6 cups?


  19. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — February 10, 2014 @ 9:47 am

    You are so brilliant I can’t handle it. I want this so badly I could cry. xo


  20. #
    Jodie — February 10, 2014 @ 9:58 am

    Surf dudes with attitudes, loved that show! this looks like the perfect meal for a snowy day


  21. #
    Tieghan Gerard — February 10, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    Perfect comfort food. This looks so good for today, it is snow, cold and stew kind of day!


  22. #
    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — February 10, 2014 @ 10:06 am

    I have a feeling you’d like this…a lot:

    I made it a few months ago and wanted to hibernate in a bowl of it for winter. Take that, snow! I’m sleepin’ in soup.


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 11:41 am

      omg. need.


  23. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — February 10, 2014 @ 10:20 am

    Oh man, I need to put whipped cream in my coffee!! GENIUS! Also, this stew is totally calling my name.


  24. #
    Kate — February 10, 2014 @ 10:26 am

    Dang. Daaaaaang. I need this (minus the bacon) and like Right. Now.


  25. #
    Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — February 10, 2014 @ 10:40 am

    True story – just caught up with my magazine reading last night, and ripped this out of Bon Appetit. Awesome to hear it’s as good as I thought it sounded! :)


  26. #
    Maria — February 10, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    Any idea what I could substitute for the anchovies? I’m sadly allergic.


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 11:40 am

      just leave ’em out!


      • Maria — February 10th, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

        Thanks a bunch! :)

  27. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — February 10, 2014 @ 11:24 am

    cant get enough of the Olympics either… love this soup/chilli


  28. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen — February 10, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    This looks like comfort in a bowl!


  29. #
    Amanda — February 10, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Jessica this looks awesome! I wrote down all of the ingredients I need from the store to make this this week…..But I am too scared of anchovies, think I can skip them?


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 11:40 am

      yes definitely!


  30. #
    Jodee Weiland — February 10, 2014 @ 11:41 am

    I love white bean soups of all kinds. This one looks thick and delicious, something I find very appealing. I also love the idea of spicy…thanks for sharing!


  31. #
    Liz — February 10, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

    This post was so perfectly timed! I bought the ingredients for the Brussels Sprout Caesar you shared last week and was wondering what I was going to do with the extra anchovies and bacon I would have. Not that I would have trouble finding a use for bacon but anchovies are a different. struggle.

    Also, I dealt with my winter feelings yesterday but watching ice dancing and eating my feelings in crusty Italian bread while standing at my counter. Now you have given me soup to dip it in!


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

      i hear ya! it’s why i made it too.


  32. #
    Leila @ The Milk Truck — February 10, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    These look INSANE delicious, and I don’t even get all hot and bothered by bean soup because we had it soooooo much as kids that I kind of developed a negative feeling towards it. But man…add some greens and a Parmesan rind and I am IN!

    Also, speaking of figure skaters – how about that 15 yr old Russian skater?! whaaaaaat?! Crazy talented! I could watch her all day!


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

      I KNOW. so good.


  33. #
    RavieNomNoms — February 10, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    That is oh so hearty! Looks great!!


  34. #
    Colleen — February 10, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

    Love the pandora recommendation. Thanks!


  35. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — February 10, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

    Hologram unicorns solve all problems. –> um, yes!
    hottest pink lipstick to ward off evil snow demons –> you’re so amazing!

    This looks SO good. I’d totally sink into my couch with a bowl of this! Yum


  36. #
    Ilona @ Ilona's Passion — February 10, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

    I like Parmesan cheese and beans, this is great combination:)


  37. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — February 10, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

    I’ve been telling my patients all day how I’m tired of seeing the four walls that make up my house. I miss my bike, walks with the puppy, and long runs. I’m going crazy. Baking has helped with the boredom, but not so much with my hips. I think soup is what I need… Thick, beany soup. Yum!


  38. #
    Breanne — February 10, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

    My favorite event in the olympics is figure skating – last night while watching my boyfriend commented that my legs twitch when I watch – like I’m actually preparing to make the jumps myself. Ha! That would not go well in real life.

    This soup looks fabulous – obviously nothing is a good substitute for bacon, but being a vegetarian, I don’t eat bacon! (But it is a regret). Can you think of something I could sub in to not lose that bacon flavor when I make this soup?

    Thanks Jessica, love your food!


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

      hmmm i’m honestly not sure what you could sub for the bacon! do you have a favorite veg bacon substitute (like something you’d eat with eggs, etc?) – otherwise, I really don’t think the flavor can be replaced, but you can definitely leave it out.


  39. #
    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats — February 10, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

    Um… perfect! Love white beans and greens, plus this just looks all kinds of hearty. Dunk in that crunchy bread and serve it with a glass of red wine and I’d be one happy girl! Perfect meal for a cold day, so comforting!


  40. #
    Julie Turner — February 10, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    OMG Taylor Dayne Pandora…can’t wait to put this on when I get home! My husband will be thrilled, I’m sure ;)


  41. #
    Jessica — February 10, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

    This looks pretty effing awesome, stoked to try this out!

    If I wanted to used canned white beans, would I cut down on some of the water and/or stock?


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

      i’d prob do 3-4 cans of beans, drain and rinse them, and start with 4-6 cups of liquid!


  42. #
    petal and plume — February 10, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

    this is the epitome of comfort food! perfect for a chilly february!


  43. #
    Megly — February 10, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

    Those muffins are such a throwback!! That’s when I started reading your blog regularly :) Too fun. Now I’m also on the lookout for a Lisa Frank notebook…. UO here I come.


  44. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — February 10, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

    I used to hate any kind of bean soup when I was younger. Seriously, what was my problem!? I’m so glad I came to my senses!


  45. #
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — February 10, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

    This is my kind of soup! It’s perfect soup weather outside too!


  46. #
    Izy — February 10, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

    I didn’t realise how into the Olympics I could get but now oh man, the ICE SKATING especially. Those skaters have got some MOVES!
    The stew looks sooo amaze – I am super in love with white beans, they make any soup extra comforting and creamy. Ahhh and with the Parmesan and bacon too?? Dead.


  47. #
    Amy — February 10, 2014 @ 6:17 pm

    I want to curl up on my couch and do nothing but eat this soup for the rest of the week. Do you think my boss will understand?
    Possibly not. Will have to wait for the weekend instead :)


  48. #
    Brittany from CountingMyCupcakes — February 10, 2014 @ 6:19 pm

    Oh my gosh I can’t wait to make this. Looks incredible!


  49. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — February 10, 2014 @ 6:19 pm

    This looks like pure comfort, love the parmesan and white beans!


  50. #
    bridget350@gmail.com — February 10, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    This looks so, so good! Mr. E is all about the white bean side at Zoe’s Kitchen (do you have those?). Totally making this for him! :)

    And “Taylor Dayne pandora station”…made me laugh! Thank you for making me feel not quite so old.


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

      we do not have those! now i’m so curious?



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