Abra Berens' tomato + parsnip stew w/ wilted kale

Abra Berens' tomato and parsnip stew with wilted kale

I like to finish these stews in the oven to slowly evaporate the liquid while creating a bit of a crust on top. It takes a little longer but requires less attention than the stovetop, though you could certainly do it that way too. Just give it a stir once in a while so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. –Abra Berens

Featured bean: Chickpea

Take 'em from dried to cooked with our guide

Print recipe here



  • Olive oil
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz [225 g]), thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • One 14½ oz [410 g] can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 8 parsnips (about 2 lb [900 g]), peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 2 cups [400 g] cooked Chickpeas
  • 1 bunch kale (8 oz [225 g]), leaves stripped and cut into ribbons
  • 1 lemon (about 1½ oz [45 ml]), zest and juice
  • Parmesan, for grating (optional)



Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C]. In an ovenproof pot, heat a couple of glugs of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering hot, about 1 minute. Briefly fry the fennel seed and chili flakes until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, and several big pinches of salt. Lower the heat to low and sweat the onion and garlic until soft, about 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, juice and all, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips and chickpeas and stir to combine. Add 2 cups [500 ml] of water or chicken stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and place uncovered in the oven. Cook until the parsnips are tender and the sauce is reduced and stewy, about 20 minutes.

Combine the kale, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of salt.

Before serving, fold the kale into the parsnip chickpea stew and allow the heat of the stew to wilt the greens gently. If serving individually, add the kale to each bowl after doling out the stewed beans. Top with a hefty grating of Parmesan (if using) and serve.


Excerpted from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens with permission from Chronicle Books, 2021. Photographs © EE Berger.

Abra Berens' greens + bean pot licker

Abra Berens' greens + bean pot licker

Crispy chicken thighs with braised beans and asparagus

Crispy chicken thighs with braised beans and asparagus

Abra Berens' cranberry bean salad with roasted carrots and mojo de ajo

Abra Berens' cranberry bean salad w/ roasted carrots + mojo de ajo