Mountain Area Child and Family Center’s white bean and spinach stew

MEAL IN A BOWL: The white bean and spinach stew created by staff at Mountain Area Child and Family Center, provides a well-rounded meal for the whole family. Photo courtesy of Mountain Area Child and Family Care Center
MEAL IN A BOWL: The white bean and spinach stew created by staff at Mountain Area Child and Family Center, provides a well-rounded meal for the whole family. Photo courtesy of Mountain Area Child and Family Care Center

Mountain Area Child and Family Center is a nonprofit early care and education center. The following recipe was created by its staff and is included in the Rainbow in My Tummy nutrition enrichment program that aims to improve the quality of food served to young children. Bronwen McCormick, the MACFC director, writes the regular Rainbow Table column for Xpress. For details about the Rainbow in My Tummy program, visit macfc.org.

Mountain Area Child and Family Center’s white bean and spinach stew

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, chopped (or substitute with about ½ cup frozen spinach)
2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable (use 3 cups broth if a more souplike consistency is preferred)
2 15-ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Note: If using frozen spinach, thaw it, drain it and squeeze it dry before using. The recipe can also be easily adapted to use whatever is on hand, such as substituting broccoli or kale for the spinach, or using other varieties of beans.

To make: Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add celery and onion and cook for about seven minutes, until soft. Add garlic and thyme and cook for one minute. Add spinach and cook for two minutes. Add broth, beans and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes. Mix in lemon juice. Add more broth, if needed, to adjust consistency. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Makes 6 cups.

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