Leek and borlotti stew

With autumn well and truly here, it’ll soon be time to start preparing some of those warming dinners. Since we first introduced it, this tasty stew has become a firm family favourite. The quantities below fed our family of 2 adults and 4 young children.

Chopped leeks


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 700g leeks, washed and sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 300g dried borlotti beans, sprouted, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock (can be made from a cube)
  • 200g bread (stale bread is fine)
  • 40g butter
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped


  • 4-5 days in advance, soak the dried borlotti beans overnight.
  • After this pour off the water and then rinse the beans 2-3 times each day. You should notice the beans are starting to sprout after 3 or 4 days.


  1. Put the beans into a large pan, cover with water and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for an hour.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, leeks and a little salt. Gently fry the leeks until soft, probably 6-8 minutes.
  3. Drain the beans, then add the leaks, rosemary and stock to the pan. Allow the stock to simmer gently and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  4. Cut the bread into small cubes to make the croutons. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add a little butter and, once melted, gently fry the bread in batches until crisp. Depending on how stale the bread is, you may end up with something more like bread crumbs that croutons.
  5. Once all the bread has been fried, add the first batch back into the pan with a little more butter and the garlic. Fry for about a minute until the garlic is just cooked and croutons are all coated. Season with a little salt then mix with the remaining croutons.
  6. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the croutons sprinkled on top.

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