Beauty and the beans

As regular Stonesoup readers will know, I’m a big fan of legumes in all their guises.

If someone were to ask me to pick my favourite, I’d probably have to go with the humble chickpea.

But ask for the best-looking legume and fresh borlotti beans win.

Hands down.

If you haven’t ever seen them there’s a picture over at

They’re in season in the Southern Hemisphere now, so I wanted to share my current favourite way of cooking them.

Brilliant for breakfasts, lunches AND dinners


braised borlotti beans with sage.
serves 2-3

2 red onions
500g (1lb) fresh borlotti beans in the shell
about 10 sages leaves
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water

1. Soften onions in a little oil for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile shell the beans.

2. Add sage and beans and stir fry for a few seconds.

3. Add cooking liquid or stock and simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender.

4. Taste. Season.

no sage? – It’s really my favourite but you could use rosemary or thyme instead.

dried beans – soak overnight and cook beans in plenty of boiling water. Then add to the pot as per the recipe and cook uncovered.

canned beans – 2 cans should do it. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced. Use the canning liquid instead of stock if you like.

Jules x

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