Every single cook has an inspiration. On Sunday’s there is a particular cook that, for me, epitomizes wholesome and comforting Sunday cooking.

Today I’ve cooked a Nigel Slater recipe ‘Tomato and Bean stew’ from Real Cooking (Penguin; 2006). It’s page has been bent over at the top corner so that whenever it gets to Sunday, I always have the recipe to my emergency when I see left over vegetables in the fridge.

Spring onions, garlic, stew,

The basis is really just tinned tomatoes and any kind of bean or lentils you can find. You start with olive oil, garlic and spring onions, add in some pancetta or bacon. Pour in one can of tinned tomatoes, one can of water followed by a handful of beans or lentils and 2 bay leafs. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add some cabbage.

I would rather not display a ‘recipe’ as such as this is really about what is left in your cupboard.

If you want to add in leftover red wine, do. Today I added courgettes and a big lump of very mature cheddar and it really puts a stronger taste on the dish.  I would advise these alternatives if you don’t have bay leafs in the house.


I cook this on a Sunday for many reasons but the main one is because it is a recipe that can be topped up throughout the beginning of the week with more water/stock, more vegetables and used for lunches to take to work. It really keeps flavour and comfort because of its simplicity – and if this recipe means I get that lazy Sunday feeling throughout the week, so be it.

cheese, bay leaf, tomato, juice, stew, courgettes, beans, lentils, dinner