Smoky vegetable jambalaya
- 120g/4½oz dried kidney beans, soaked overnight or 400g tin kidney beans, drained
- olive oil, for frying
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 150g/5½oz brown basmati rice
- 1 bay leaf
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 vegetable stock cubes, crumbled
- 750ml/26fl oz boiling water
- 500g/1lb 2oz mixed frozen vegetables
If you’re using dried kidney beans, drain the soaked beans in a colander, rinse thoroughly, then tip into a saucepan and cover with plenty of fresh cold water. Bring to the boil and cook at a rapid boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1–2 hours, until soft. Drain, then set aside to cool.
Heat a splash of oil in a wide casserole over a medium-low heat and fry the onion and garlic gently for 5 minutes until soft. Add the smoked paprika, herbs and fennel seeds, fry for 30 seconds more, then stir in the rice.
Add the bay leaf, cooked (or tinned) beans, chopped tomatoes, stock cubes and boiling water and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 25 minutes.
Stir in the frozen vegetables, cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are warmed through.
Mixed frozen vegetables are a really good, low-cost way of packing loads of veggies into a dish. This recipe is also great for using up any scraps you might have in the fridge; peppers, beans, broccoli, sweetcorn, tomatoes, carrots – anything goes!
If you don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, put them in a pan and cover with water as above. Set over a high heat, bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 1 hour before rinsing and draining.
Tinned beans work just as well for this dish; use whatever you have in the cupboard.
When soaking dried beans overnight, it’s always best to make a big batch. Once cooked and cooled they can be portioned and frozen.
If you are using a saucepan, you may want to reduce the amount of stock by about 250ml/9fl oz, as there will be less evaporation.