Ingredients (Serves 2 – 3 for dinner, 4 for lunch)
300g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
4 shallot onions, or one large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained
1 x 400g can good quality chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp red wine (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp single or double cream
2 slices foccacia per person, topped with grated smoked cheddar (or unsmoked if you prefer)
1) Fry the onion and garlic in a good slosh of olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms with more oil if necessary (so that they are lightly covered) and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.
2) Add the tomatoes, beans, wine and herbs and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. You may need to add some water if the sauce gets too reduced.
3) When the stew is ready, toast one side of the bread under the grill, then top the untoasted side with cheese and grill until melted. Serve immediately in bowls.