Slow-Cooker White Bean & Kale Stew (with one secret ingredient!)

I say stew and you say......BEEF!

Mmmmm, but not today. 

As I sat writing this recipe the other week, I got to thinking....why am I calling this a stew and not a soup? Pretend like you really want to know.

Stews, although some of the more famous ones are meaty/gravy-esque are generally 1) thicker than soups, thus have less of a liquid to solid ratio 2) take longer to cook (they have to "stew") 3) served as a entree rather than appetizer

As far as I'm aware there are no technicalities in that meat/flour/wine is necessary to title something a stew, and I'm a total stickler for that kind of stuff.  Which is why I hated when Butternut Squash BISQUE was a trendy thing a few years ago, or when someone says the words "vegetable" and "stock" together. I wanna be that girl who raises her hand, locked at the elbow, "No it's not, no it's not. Bisques and stocks need to have boooooones." And I'm really rarely that girl.

Now onto that secret ingredient....


By now you're aware that I enjoy my slow-cooker. Have you spotted the secret ingredient yet?


Be really careful when you take them off since they can be really sharp, but then, believe it or not, I love throwing them right in with everything!


See that nice piece of GIANO above?!  Say it in your best mob voice. 


The first night:


You'll be wanting this for days.


Carrots aren't it. I judge if that's what you thought.

Look below. See how I left the tin can lids in the photo?




That was it! That was it! That is your little yellow brick on the road to one of the best veggie slow-cooker stews you'll ever have.  Just the rind! #saveyourrinds


One week later:

A little mangled but mmm mmm good.


Slow-Cooker White Bean & Kale Stew (with one secret ingredient!)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 3 quarts)

  • 1 medium onion, small-diced
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 5 medium stalks celery, 1/2-inch-diced
  • 28 ounces chopped tomatoes (1 large can)
  • 15 ounces great northern beans (1 small can), rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 piece parmesan rind (about 2x3 inches or so)
  • 2 small bunches green kale, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces

Add the onion, carrots, celery, chopped tomatoes, beans, water, salt, chili flakes and parmesan rind to slow-cooker. Mix everything together then place the chopped kale on top (do not mix in).

Cover with the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.

Chef's Notes:

–Individual stalks of celery are also known as ribs, but a whole head is also called a stalk. Use 5 individual ribs/stalks for this. Get it?
–Gently rinse the beans as the water can break them!
–Even a small piece of rind can add tons of flavor.