Shortcut Brothy Beans

Recipe Contribution: Evergreen Kitchen: Weeknight Vegetarian Dinners for Everyone by Bri Beaudoin. Photography by Anguel Dimov for Evergreen Kitchen.

It’s hard to beat home-cooked beans, but sometimes you don’t have hours to spend cooking. This dish instead infuses canned beans with heaps of flavour, in a fraction of the time. In addition to the usual suspects—shallots, garlic, and herbs—tomato paste and miso add extra depth of flavour. It’s an impressive level-up for canned beans! You can easily double the recipe if you want extra beans on hand for other meals throughout the week.[1]


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cans (14 fl oz / 398 ml each) butter or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed [2]
  • 1 tablespoon white miso 
  • 3 cups packed chopped Swiss chard, spinach, or lacinato kale
  • Lemon wedges
  • Grilled crusty bread or focaccia, for serving (optional)


  1. Cook the tomato paste, shallots, and herbs: In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the olive over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft and the tomato paste has darkened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the stock and simmer: Add the vegetable stock, pepper, and salt. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavours meld.
  3. Add the beans, seasonings, and greens: Pour the beans into the pot and gently stir to mix. Cover with a lid and cook over medium-low heat until the beans are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the miso until fully dissolved. (It’s okay if some of the beans get squished while doing this—it’ll thicken the broth.) Stir in the Swiss chard. Taste and season with more salt, if needed.
  4. Serve: Serve the beans hot with lemon on the side and bread for dipping, if using.

[1] For an even heartier meal, you could top with a soft-boiled egg, crumbled feta, and fresh herbs. Or spoon the beans over rice. They can also be added as a protein-boost in soups, pastas, bowls, etc.

[2] I recommend using “no salt added” beans, so you have control over seasoning at the end.

Copyright © 2022 Bri Beaudoin. Photography by Anguel Dimov. Published by Penguin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.