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. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — February 10, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

    Seriously, this looks like comfort to its finest! Cannot wait to make this for a cozy week night!


  2. #
    Jen — February 10, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

    Your latest post on inspiration inspired me to get in the kitchen this week. I made your chickpea curry with coconut rice tonight and it was delicious! AND easy to make. I also made the smoked sweet potato and black bean tacos this past weekend – another winner! Thanks so much.


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

      i’m so glad! thanks so much for reading.


  3. #
    Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier — February 10, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

    Um, wow. This is a perfect recipe for all this crazy weather we are having. Looks and sounds amazing, Jessica!


  4. #
    Katherine R. — February 10, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

    This looks PHENOMENAL.


  5. #
    Eileen — February 10, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

    Hooray for beans and greens! This looks like such a hearty & satisfying winter dinner. :)


  6. #
    Camille — February 10, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

    This is almost done cooking and it smells so good. I did a really silly thing, though. I grabbed sardines instead of anchovies at the store so I couldn’t melt them into the oil. So show, added an extra slice of bacon. Somehow, I think I will survive.


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

      haha! i’m sure it will be just as delish. keep me posted. :)


      • Camille — February 10th, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

        It looks a bit soupier than yours but I think that’s because my beans cooked up and fell apart pretty quickly. I keep burning my tongue tasting it, so good!

  7. #
    Stefanie @ One Savvy Lady — February 11, 2014 @ 12:54 am

    Hi Jessica, a bowl of warm soup is definitely my kind of chilly day go-to, too. I love how this recipe incorporates beans, greens, and baguette all in one bowl of yummy goodness. Thanks for sharing!


  8. #
    DEEPU PANICKER — February 11, 2014 @ 1:32 am

    Hi Lisa, the recipe looks really good, excellent photography!!!

    I am a chef and I have just recently started blogging. My website is http://www.saltandtamarind.net/.

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe.


  9. #
    ATasteOfMadness — February 11, 2014 @ 1:44 am

    Oh wow. I think I am in love with this soup too. I haven’t made soup in ages, I need to start soon!


  10. #
    mimi — February 11, 2014 @ 8:26 am

    perfect. this is my kind of meal!


  11. #
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — February 11, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    This looks awesome!! Want to make it, but what is a cheese rind? The outer skin f the cheese? How much would you use?


    • Jessica — February 11th, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

      yes! if you buy a chunk of parmesan, it is the rind of the cheese. you want to use the entire thing! if you need to buy new parm, just slice the rind off and toss it in.


      • tasia — March 7th, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

        Do you take the cheese rind out somewhere? I didn’t see that… could you just use a handful of cheese instead of the rind? I get mine from Penn Mac, pre shredded….

      • Jessica — March 7th, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

        the cheese rind totally melts! but yes, you can use cheese – i’d use a good amount, maybe 3/4 of a cup or so?

  12. #
    Brooke — February 11, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

    You had me hooked up until the last paragraph where you mentioned there’s anchovies in this. Blech!! I shall try it without the nasty little swimmers – even though they apparently “melt” into oil! Fish + me = BARF ;)


  13. #
    Brittany — February 11, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

    My mom used to make white bean soup all the time. We’d have it with cornbread and I’d put ketchup on it. Sounds weird but it’s really good.

    Now I want bean soup.


  14. #
    Catie — February 11, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    This recipe looks amazing. But, the Taylor Dayne Pandora station tip…so in love!!!


  15. #
    Jessica Yas — February 11, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

    Jess- do you put the rind in WHOLE or grate it?


    • Jessica — February 11th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

      the whole rind! it will melt.


  16. #
    Llyons56 — February 11, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

    Jessica. I don’t like using anchovy fillets because of the blech factor of the cartilage/bones, so I usually buy the anchovy paste in a tube. What is the substitution amount I should use? Thanks, doll!


    • Jessica — February 11th, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

      I’m thinking about a teaspoon!


  17. #
    Jennifer Stewart — February 11, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

    I can’t wait to try this tonight. All this cold weather has me needing a healthy soup! Thanks!


  18. #
    l — February 11, 2014 @ 5:53 pm



  19. #
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — February 11, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

    I love the addition of anchovies to this, sounds yummmmmmy!


  20. #
    Alex @ Kenzie Life — February 11, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

    I really want this soup! But I also want to slightly vegetarian-ize it and use veggie stock. I’m totally making it this weekend! Looks amazing…and also I could’ve used some last week when it was below zero, but now I have it for future reference :)


  21. #
    jeri — February 11, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

    Once the weather starts getting cool, I make a weekly pot of bean, lentil or split pea soup. I always include lots of veggies, but I’ve never thought of greens; what a great idea, and pretty too. And for all the anchovy haters, they really do melt and don’t taste fishy at all. They just add a mysterious, earthy (how funny, since they’re from the sea) undertone. I know what next week’s soup is going to be.


  22. #
    Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen — February 11, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

    A little bacon does go a long, delicious way–same for a little anchovy! Plus parmesan…overload!


  23. #
    Sharyn Dimmick — February 11, 2014 @ 11:41 pm

    I just put some white beans to soak tonight, intending to make white bean chicken chili, but I might have to change my mind and make this because I have bacon and anchovies in the house.


  24. #
    Elaine — February 12, 2014 @ 11:11 am

    Any suggestions for making this totally vegetarian? I’ll throw in some veggie stock, but I’d still love some of the extra flavor without adding the anchovies or bacon.


    • Jessica — February 12th, 2014 @ 11:19 am

      you can definitely leave out the anchovies and bacon – make sure to season it a bit more and maybe add additional smoked paprika, cumin or other spices you enjoy?


      • Elaine — February 12th, 2014 @ 11:20 am

        Sounds perfect, thank you!

    • Anna Graham — November 15th, 2014 @ 12:00 am

      To make this vegetarian, I used capers instead of anchovies. I threw them in after adding the onion so they didn’t burn or get overcooked. Obviously left out the bacon. Also, I didn’t have any broth so I just upped the amount of onion and ginger, as well as the spices.

      I didn’t do this, but if you wanted to up the umami flavor, a tiny bit of miso does the trick. It has a strong flavor, so make sure not to overdo it.

      One suggestion is to not add as much water as the recipe calls for. I had to cook it for hours before it became rich and creamy. Start with a little cause you can always add more. :)


  25. #
    cheri — February 12, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    White beans are my favorite. Never thought of adding anchovies. Very clever!


  26. #
    Simone — February 12, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    Made this for dinner last night and it was SO GOOD. Leftovers for lunch today!


  27. #
    Courtney @ Pizzazzerie — February 12, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    This looks so perfect for all this chilly, winter nights! Can’t wait to make!


  28. #
    Lisag — February 12, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

    I totally thought of Mother Lovett’s soup when I saw the first picture. Gotta be good!


  29. #
    Lisa [With Style & Grace] — February 12, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Hell ya, sign me up (you deliver, right? ;)


  30. #
    A.Buttafly — February 13, 2014 @ 3:11 am

    I am so with you on the snow business. I will have this soup in my life ASAP;


  31. #
    stacy — February 13, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    I’m going to try this recipe but using canned beans because, well, i’m kinda lazy like that :)


    • Kathryn — March 19th, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

      How’d it go with canned? I’m doing the same thing tonight. Did you have to cut down on cook time?


  32. #
    Melinda — February 13, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

    Another snow day today, so obviously I’m making this soup. And also attempting to make my own baguettes (yikes!), because I’m hungry and also bored and also want the house warm and smelling like fresh bread and soup. :)


  33. #
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — February 13, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

    What a nice stew! Love the use of the anchovies!


  34. #
    Li — February 14, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

    This sounds incredible!! Would using canned beans compromise the flavor / consistency? Thanks! :)


  35. #
    Julie — February 17, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

    I made this last night, but after cooking for 4+ hours it was really soupy. Cooking more tonight to try and cook out all of the liquid. Ten cups of liquid seems like a lot for one pound of beans.


    • Penny — February 18th, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

      I agree about the 10 cups of liquid; I have this simmering as I write and kept 2 cups broth on reserve, but it’s still soupy. I took off the lid the stock pot, and am hoping some it will cook down a bit more & thicken up. Perhaps when I mash the bean? but it still smells fabulous. Too bad my local weather warmed up today, but i had all the ingredients so made it anyway!


      • Amy — March 30th, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

        This happened to me too!

  36. #
    Nikki Lynn — February 18, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

    This is my new favorite bean stew recipe! SO GOOD, even my fiance likes it and he never goes for soup/stews. Will make again this weekend. love love love


  37. #
    Amanda — February 18, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

    Does it matter what kind of white beans I use?


    • Jessica — February 18th, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

      navy or great northern will probably work best!


  38. #
    Ted Brooks — February 20, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

    When I see a recipe calling for Parmesan rind, I never have any idea how much rind to use. See for instance for his recipe. Also, I cook beans all of the time…probably at least once a week during the inter and hardly ever soak my beans prior to cooking…usually because I don’t decide to cook beans until I wake in the morning with a” bean hankerin'”:. It just means I have to cook them longer, but certainly doesn’t make them taste any different or have a different consistency,. Just a tip for those of us who don’t plan very far ahead. Of course, if I do plan ahead I will pre-soak, but it’s not the end of the world (or the beans) if you don’t soak at all


  39. #
    Rebecca — February 23, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

    Looks great!!! I pinned it, will make this soon :D
    Thanks, rebecca


  40. #
    peeweesf — February 24, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

    I made this over the weekend, and it definitely turned out like soup, not thick like yours. Broth never absorbed. Do you think this is because I used canned beans instead of uncooked? I also used turkey bacon (that’s what I had on hand), if that matters.


  41. #
    Mike V. — February 26, 2014 @ 2:00 am

    I like this twist on white bean soup – something we make pretty regularly in our house.
    The anchovies, paprika and pepper flakes keep it interesting. We were able to load it up with kale and chard (rather than spinach) from our garden.
    Very nice!


  42. #
    Laura — March 23, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

    Im making this as we speak and it’s been simmering for 3+ hours and is really soupy! I see some other people thought so too. Any suggestions? I’ll eat it either way – it smells delicious!


  43. #
    Lizzie — March 25, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

    Great recipe, Jessica! I bailed on the anchovies (intentional) and bacon (accident) and it was a delicious bed for my Trader Joe’s Irish Bangers.


  44. #
    Joy — May 7, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    Wow. This soup is AMAZING. I made it in the wrong season but holy cow, it’s so good and is my new favorite soup.

    (A few slight changes based on what I had…no sardines, 1 extra piece of bacon. I used 2 cans of white beans and none of the water.) If I wanted to save time, I think I’d do 3 cans of stock. Or I’d cook the entire length with dried beans. I bet dried are better than canned. SO good. Thank you.


  45. #
    Reine — December 4, 2014 @ 3:09 am

    Was really good. Thanks for the recipe


  46. #
    Alicia — March 15, 2015 @ 8:50 am

    The liquid called for is way to much. I even cut back by one cup and simmered it longer hoping it would thicken up, but it was very wet and did not look at all like pictured. The flavors were ok, but I did not love this recipe. I also thought the greens were too much, so I only put in the kale. The Kale was equal in portion to the beans, again, not as pictured. So disappointing.



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