Kale and Bean Stew – Recipe No 131


Here is today’s lunch and how much it cost me. It’s a slightly modified recipe based on ‘Haricot Stew’ that was an economical and tasty recipe put out by the ‘Ministry of Food’ during World War II.


  • 1 or 2 oz of dripping or margarine
  • 1 leek or onion
  • 2 oz plain flour
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 8 oz haricot or kidney beans
  • 4 oz corned beef (optional)
  • 1 lb mixed vegetables (I used lots of kale, some carrots and a couple of potatoes cubed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mixed dry herbs


  1. Heat the dripping/margarine in a frying pan
  2. Add chopped leek or onion and cook until lightly browned
  3. Add rest of veggies and stir and continue to saute for a few minutes
  4. Add vegetable stock and beans (and corned beef if you are using that- I’m veggie so mine is without)
  5. Mix flour with a little water to make a smooth paste and slowly mix in to the warmed stew until the desired consistency has been reached.
  6. Add plenty of dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Simmer over medium/low heat until carrots & potatoes are tender enough to eat (about 15 minutes or so)

Serves 4

Cost per serving:  35p (without corned beef)

Calories per serving:  200


14 thoughts on “Kale and Bean Stew – Recipe No 131

    • It was yummy indeed! Problem is I can’t stop eating it! Calorie wise I’ve worked it out to be (with 1 oz of margarine and no corned beef) about 200 cals per portion maximum… (800 ish for the whole pot)

  1. Thanks Carolyn

    I am doing the Live Below the Line challenge at the end of this month so this recipe will be just right

    • Oh yes it would be… what a good cause too. xxx Maybe I could list some recipes that would come in at under £1 a day in total. Good luck with it Jan xxx

    • Been reading your blog since you were on the other side of the pond but have never commented. I have need to loose some weight and am going to try this veggie stew. I have a lot of tinned kidney beans in my cupboard so I can use this receive. Thank you for posting. Ignore the trolls

    • Tinned or dried- I use both although mostly dry as they are cheaper and its easy enough to soak overnight, drain and rinse and cook xxx

      • I use loads of dried beans Carolyn but cook them in big batches and freeze in small portions to drop straight into stews which makes it as convenient as tinned but a lot cheaper..some beans need a long cook so can be a bit of a faff if you are in a hurry or forgot the overnight soak!…Tip..make up a few bags of mixed beans as well when you are freezing

      • Unfortunately we only have a small freezer so this isn’t really and option for us 🙁

      • Thanks Kate- I’ve never thought to put them in bags and freeze them once cooked- a great idea! xx

  2. Carolyn, I looooooove your blog, and I find that I relate to most of what you write 🙂 I grew up in England and now live in BC, Canada. I would really like to see how you divide up your ‘rations’ after you have been grocery shopping. For example, do you weigh out 2oz of sugar and put it in a jar to use during the week and save the rest of the container to go towards the next week, etc.? And how do you decide how many vegetables, or how much bread to have for the week? Thanks, Gemma

  3. Hi Carolyn, I am just reading a great book called Jambusters. It’s about the role of the WI in WW2. Apparently onions were in great shortage after the fall of Holland and France and supplies dried up from overseas completely. The National Federation (the top dogs) sent out instructions to each Institute on how to grow them but the types that were available then needed long hours of sun, so it wasn’t too successful. That’s why they were so valued, they were even given as raffle prizes! I’m sure you would love the book, if you could get hold of a copy. It mentions British Restaurants and canteens for manual workers and even a pie scheme for agricultural workers so they could buy the extra calories they needed off ration.
    The stew looks great, it’s going to be tonight’s dinner! x

    • Oh that sounds right up my street!!! No wonder leeks were so popular if onions were hard to grow! Lots of recipes call for onions funnily enough but I bet most people would have used leeks instead. Must look for that book!! xxxx

  4. Congratulations on the newspaper articles Carolyn. A great way to get the word out to people. Ignore the cyber bullies. They know nothing. Bringing this concept of rationing back to the world in the 21st century is a great service. It promotes health and conservation and frugality. You have a lot of fans out here!

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