Vegan Spanish Style Three Bean Stew with Olives and Peppers with Crusty Bread

by James Bacon. 

Whether you’re starting the year doing Veganuary or watching what you eat you may just fancy cooking something different. This warming and comforting vegan Spanish style 3 bean stew is exactly what you need. It is sweet, with tomatoes, smoky paprika, saffron and chilli, giving it a hit of warmth.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


3 tins of an assortment of beans (I used cannellini, borlotti and butter beans) drained and rinsed

  • 1 large jar or 680g of passata
  • 3 tbs tomato puree/paste
  • 60 ml of medium sherry
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 4 large gloves of garlic minced/grated
  • 1 bulb of fennel finely sliced
  • 2  bell peppers (I used red and orange) chopped in to 2cm chunks
  • 30 pitted green olives
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1tbs paprika
  • 2tsp smoked sweet, mild paprika
  • 2tsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 2tsp of finely chopped rosemary leaves 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a good pinch of saffron
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 2tsp of brown sugar
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • small bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste (I adjust my Cole & Mason Lyndhurst mills to medium grind and give it 10-15 turns)


  1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large casserole pan to a medium heat, add the onions and fennel and cook until they start to soften 5-6 minutes, add garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, add peppers and cook for 3 minutes, they will release their water so you can use this to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Now add the tomato puree and cook for a minute or so and increase the heat to medium high, add the sherry and let it reduce until it becomes thick and rich.
  2. Gather the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, saffron and both the paprika and add to the pan and let them incorporate in to the mixture for a minute until fragrant, then add all the beans, olives, passata, vegetable stock and sugar, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes.
  3. It’s time to add the cherry tomatoes that will poach in the sauce with the lid off, for a further 15 minutes while the sauce thickens.
  4. Finally, stir in 2/3 of the chopped parsley and cook for a few minutes, season with plenty of salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve in bowls with a garnish of more parsley and a drizzle of olive oil if you fancy, and plenty of crusty bread.


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