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

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

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.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.