Black eye bean and celeriac stew

It’s wet and cold today with grey skies the colour of concrete. Definitely the weather for steaming hot bowls of comforting stew!
But I thought it would be nice to bring a touch of lightness to the day by using flavours more usually used in summer, or certainly more traditional in hotter climates than north west England…
So to a base of black eye beans and celeriac, I’ve added chopped tomatoes, lemon zest and chervil and finished the dish with chopped fresh dill.
It’s ridiculously easy to make, and as well as brightening my day today, will be delicious over the next couple of days for work lunches, perhaps with rocket salad.


Black eye bean and celeriac stew

serves 4 to 6

250 g black eye beans, rinsed and soaked (covered) in boiling water for 1 hour
325 g celeriac (peeled weight), cut into 1 cm cubes
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried chervil
1 tbsp lemon zest (around 1/2 a lemon)
1 litre of hot water
a pinch of salt
4 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c.
Put all of the ingredients in an ovenproof casserole dish and bring to the boil on the hob. Cover and transfer to the oven for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.
At this point the beans and vegetables will be tender, and the sauce will be full of flavour but quite thin. I like it this way but if you prefer it thicker you could either mix through a tbsp slaked cornflour, or puree a couple of ladlefuls of the beans and veg and then add back to the pan.
Salt to taste, and stir the dill through just before serving.

By E.

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