Smoky Winter Stew

A quick and simple stew with bacon providing a rich and smoky flavour. It will fill bellies and warm hearts on mid-week winter nights.



  • 500g Middle Bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 x 400g tins of cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chopped English spinach or kale


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy.
  2. Remove the bacon, transfer to paper towel to absorb the grease and set aside.
  3. Keeping the bacon grease in the pot, turn the heat to hot and add into in the carrots, onions and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  5. Add the flour and stir, cooking for another minute.
  6. Slowly pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the pot, stirring constantly. Stir until the mixture creates a thick gravy. Add the remainder of the stock, the beans and the bay leaf.
  7. Bring to the soup to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the bay leaf, add the spinach or kale and remove from the heat.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then add in the cooked bacon pieces, stirring through.
  9. Serve with fresh crusty bread.
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