Vegetarian for Life
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Borlotti Bean and Chestnut Stew

A deliciously rich chestnut stew, flavoured with robust herbs and red wine, best made the day before, for the flavours to infuse the beans.

Serves: 4
Time to prepare: 15 mins
Time to cook: 40 mins
Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegan


  • 2 medium leeks, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into thick rounds
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 2 large sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml red wine
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh or dried red chillies, deseeded
  • 4 tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp shoyu (soya sauce)
  • 400g tin borlotti beans or 200g cooked borlotti beans
  • 250g chestnuts, ready cooked
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan and sauté the leeks until softened.
  2. Add the carrots, garlic, sage, rosemary and oregano, cook for a few minutes with the lid on.
  3. Stir in the flour, followed by the red wine, water, vegetable bouillon powder, bay leaf, chillies, tomatoes and shoyu.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender but still have a bite to them.
  5. Add the borlotti beans and chestnuts.
  6. Check the seasoning and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Finish with chopped parsley and a twist of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with Celeriac and Potato Mash.
Tip: The most convenient chestnuts to use are the vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts. If you use tinned chestnuts make sure they are unsweetened.


28 August, 2014

My hometown here, Buffalo, NY, used to have four distnict and lovely seasons, but alas, climate change has stirred up the weather patterns and blurred the lines. I can’t be too upset today, as I ready myself for the family holiday dinner, with the back screen door letting in cool, fresh air. In my childhood, we’d have cold temps and maybe some snow by now.

13 December, 2018

I have made this quite a few times and it is delicious.
I think the amounts in the recipes would serve 3 people better, not 4.
I usually miss out the chillies and just add a bit of chilli powder, Also I add about half a teaspoon of Allspice. Also I use vegan worcester sauce instead of soy sauce.It freezes really well

26 September, 2023

and the celeriac mash?
i have no idea and i put the search on the vegetarian on line and nothing came up?
it might seem a doh moment to you
but for me-i have no idea

27 September, 2023

Thank you for getting in touch, Suzanneh. Here is a reply from our Roving Chef Alex:

Celeriac and potato mash is simply equal amounts of peeled celeriac and potato boiled or steamed, then mashed together. Add a little mustard, seasoning and perhaps some margarine or olive oil and that’s it. Enjoy.

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