Red kidney bean stew

Red kidney bean stew

Serves 4 – 6


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

1 large red pepper, de-seeded and chopped

2 leeks or medium courgettes, sliced

2 celery sticks, sliced

175g mushrooms, washed and sliced finely

1 can of chopped tomatoes or four chopped fresh tomatoes

1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

½ tsp paprika

Seasoning to taste



Heat oil in large pan, and add onion, red pepper, carrots, leeks or courgettes and celery.

Cook together gently for 10 minutes, covered, then add mushrooms, tomatoes, kidney beans and seasonings.

Continue to cook gently, covered, for a further 10 – 15 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.

This stew freezes well and once thawed can be quickly reheated. Alternatively, any leftovers can be combined with cooled cooked pasta such as fusilli or penne, together with chopped feta cheese, to make an interesting salad.

Legendary vegetarian cookery writer Rose Elliot had the first edition of her classic book (left) published in 1985. A new edition, with amendments and additions, came out in 2010.


The cyclist’s ordeal

I’VE said it before and I’ll say it again: you just have to be slightly mad to cycle round here.

As parking becomes ever more challenging, it would seem to be a good idea to dust down the bike and take to two wheels instead of four.

Unfortunately your average motorist doesn’t agree.

In fact your average motorist seems to develop instant selective blindness if there is a cyclist ahead of them.

The cyclist can see that there is a series of drains leading into the gutter along the road so the obvious thing to do is give them a wide berth.

The raging motorist, however, neither sees nor cares about these obstacles but takes delight in skimming the cyclist’s outside elbow.

As for speed restrictions, there is a similar disregard for them too.

If only a little respect and consideration could prevail. After all, the slipstream from a speeding vehicle can easily cause a cyclist to wobble dangerously, or fall.

Over the years, there have been attempts to increase the number of cycle paths but that in itself is costly and complicated when the basic infrastructure is so narrow.

If you do decide to cycle and manage to reach your destination in one piece, all you then have to contend with are shaky legs, dusty or muddy feet and a red face.