Denise says:

  • There are numerous different types of spring greens and it’s often hard to find inspiration on how best to cook them. My favourite is pointed cabbage, sweetheart cabbage or hispi cabbage.
  • The name sweetheart is used because of its sweet flavour, and because the French word for cabbage, chou, is used as a pet name for a sweetheart.
  • Cabbage is relatively cheap and it goes a long way!  Feel free to substitute in white, red, savoy or Danish Ballhead cabbage, to suit your taste and what is in season.
  • This stew is a tasty and colourful vegan meal that I like to serve with basmati rice. 
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: 6 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 100 ml vegan stock
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2x 400g tins butter beans, drained
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g fresh spring greens - sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the sliced onions. Fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly, before adding the sliced peppers. Turn up the heat slightly to get these going and reduce to medium again after a few minutes.
  2. Once the onions and peppers have started to soften, add the chopped garlic and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next, add the tinned tomatoes, breaking these up with a spoon. Once the tomatoes have broken apart, add in the vegan stock, smoked paprika, and bay leaves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 10-15 minutes, stir in the drained butter beans, thyme, and grated lemon zest. Simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.
  5. With 5 minutes to go, add the spring green leaves and mix these through the stew.
  6. Adjust the seasoning to taste before serving with basmati rice and chopped fresh parsley.