Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. Autumn’s here all right. Soggy leaves, grey sky, the house under siege by MASSIVE spiders, and all the ‘seasonal’ germs rearing their ugly heads again. Ugh.
Having spent the entire day trapped indoors with a very snotty Kipper (At what age do they learn to blow their own noses? Tell me it’s soon…) I needed something easy, warming, and very, very comforting.
This tagine was based on my Mum’s carrot and butter-bean soup, which has been a fixture on family menus for as long as I can remember. I took the basic flavours, tinkered a bit, and left it lovely and chunky to spoon over hot buttery couscous. Mmmm. (Mum blends the soup version into a thick, smooth and comforting liquid.)
It’s debatable whether or not this dish can really call itself a tagine. I didn’t use a special North African cooking pot, and it doesn’t have any fruit in it, or even traditional spices. But, it was allowed to cook on a very low simmer for a longish amount of time, and we did eat it with couscous. So you be the judge. Is it a tagine? Or merely a vegetable stew with delusions of North African grandeur?
Whatever it’s called, it hit the spot on a grim & grotty day. The carrots were tender and fragrant. The beans were melting deliciously into the broth. The soupy liquid was sweet with slow-cooked onions, rich with tomato, and zingy with pepper and allspice. Ahhhh.
Kipper scoffed down her couscous but had to be induced to try the tagine. “Are the butter-beans more buttery, or more beany?” I asked. She tried one, then had to try the rest to be certain 🙂 Encouraging her to work out what herbs and spices had flavoured the carrots got her to see those off too. Gratifyingly, she correctly identified the presence of thyme <proud mum>.
Even DH yummed down a big bowl of this, and commented appreciatively about it. And he generally moans about vegan dishes with beans in. Maybe I’m winning him round, at last…
I hope you enjoy this in better weather. Serves 2-3.
- 2 medium onions
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 500g carrots
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 0.5-1 tsp ground allspice
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 1.5 tbsp tomato puree
- 400g tin/carton butter-beans
- Salt and pepper
- Cooked couscous, to serve
- Peel and slice the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the sliced onions over a low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes until very soft and just starting to brown.
- Peel the carrots and cut into 8-9mm slices. Add the carrots, thyme, and allspice to the pan and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the stock and tomato puree to the pan, stir well, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are very tender.
- Drain the butter-beans and add to the carrots in the pan. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve with couscous.