Butterbean, chard & quinoa stew

by Jenny Chandler

A fabulously nutritious, light and zingy summer stew

A fabulously nutritious, light and zingy summer stew using some of the classic Andean ingredients. For a more substantial stew you could add small chunks of potato or throw in some chicken wings or thighs at the same time as the quinoa.


1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp aji panca or aji amarillo powder, or a pinch of chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
200g quinoa, white, red or mixed, well rinsed in a sieve
800ml vegetable or chicken stock
250g cooked butter beans (equal to 1 x 400g can, drained)
200g tomato passata or blitzed tinned tomatoes
300g swiss chard, rainbow chard or spinach, stalks chopped finely, leaves shredded into ribbons
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Zest and juice of 1 lime


Take a large pot and fry off the onion and red pepper in the vegetable oil for about 10 mins, until beginning to soften.

Meanwhile, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan until fragrant and then grind them roughly with a pestle and mortar.

Add the garlic to the pan and stir over a high heat until you can really smell it. Throw in the cumin, coriander, chilli and bay leaf, wait for the waft of spices and then pour in the quinoa and stock.

Simmer for about 20 mins until the quinoa is cooked—each grain will have developed its own little transparent halo around it. Add the butterbeans and tomato passata and a dash of water, if required. If you are preparing ahead of time, this is as far as you will want to go.

5 mins before serving, stir the finely chopped stalks and the ribbons of chard into the hot stew and bring up to the boil for 2 mins. Once the chard has wilted stir in the herbs, zest and juice of the lime and salt, to taste.

Recipe: Jenny Chandler