Recipe originally published on December 25th 2018
Loubia is Moroccan White Bean Stew that packs tons of flavor while only using a handful of ingredients. It’s a delicious, spicy and citrusy soup that will make you forget that it is snowing outside.
What is Loubia
In short, it’s a Moroccan white bean stew. The word Loubia translates to beans. However, I do feel that that name does not really do it justice. Loubia is essentially just as much about the sauce as it is the beans.
Loubia is traditionally served during breakfast but can also be eaten any time of the day. It’s most commonly served with Moroccan bread to scoop up that delicious sauce.
There are many ways to make Loubia. The simplest, and most common way, is : beans, water, garlic, paprika and tomato paste. Simple as that. This is the version that you will find served in the streets and is by far the most popular one.
My version, the one that my mother taught me, is slightly different but I feel is a great version of homemade Loubia.
A Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot would be Perfect!
This is not a requirement, in fact, you can make Loubia in your Dutch Oven or any other large pot you have. However, to cook the beans properly, you will have to wait longer. Like a lot longer.
If you choose to go that way, make sure you cook your beans completely through as they can be hard on your digestive system if not cooked properly.
Lastly, you can if you choose to do so, make this recipe in a slow cooker. This implies that you will simply have to dump everything at once in your slow cooker and cook it for 6-8 hours on low-heat. Not my favourite method but I can’t argue with its practicality.
If you want the true Moroccan way to make it then you will want to use a pressure cooker. It makes the process much shorter and gives you perfectly cooked beans every time!
How to make Loubia
To make this Moroccan white bean stew, you will need a few ingredients. Most of these are readily available except for maybe preserved lemons which can be found in so called “ethnic” food stores. Here is what you need:
White beans: Cannellini beans, or white kidney beans, are the prime choice for this dish. They are perfect as they tend to retain their shape. They have a nutty, earthy flavor and are very creamy which contributes to the texture of this dish.
Onions, garlic and parsley: the basic version does not call for onions, however, onions add a lot flavor to stews and I highly recommend adding them to this dish. Onions, garlic and parsley are omnipresent in most Moroccan dishes as they make for a very good flavor base.
Tomato paste: adds a little bit of acidity to this dish and helps thicken the sauce. You can also use crushed tomatoes.
Seasoning: I used paprika, cumin, turmeric and of course salt & pepper. If you don’t like the taste of cumin, or turmeric, feel free to skip them. However I would highly recommend using cumin as it does help with digestion and beans, well, they are not the easiest thing to process. Turmeric adds a little more earthiness which complements perfectly the natural taste of white kidney beans.
Preserved lemons: this ingredient, to me, is really the difference maker. You don’t need to use a lot, a quarter of regular size lemon or half a small one will be more than enough. Loubia tends to have a deep earthy taste, and preserved lemons, are light, fragrant and very citrusy which works extremely well here.
- The first thing to do is to soak your white beans. The minimum is 12 hours as dry beans take a while to rehydrate. You can go as far as 24 hours but I would not push it past that. Once your beans are ready, drain the old water and rinse your beans.
- Next you will need to cook your onions, garlic and parsley. If you are using an Instant pot, you will want to do this step on sauté mode. If you are using and old school pressure cooker you will want to do this on low-medium heat. Cook your chopped onions, garlic and parsley in olive oil for 5-7 minutes.
- Next, add your rinsed beans, tomato paste, spices, chilies and cover with broth. You can use vegetable broth, chicken broth or any kind of broth you have on hand. At this point you’re going to seal your pressure cooker and cook for 40-45 minutes. If you are using an Instant pot, you will want to do the same, but for 35 minutes on high pressure. Once the time expires, you will want to let the steam slowly release for 10-15 minutes.
Serving suggestion: serve with some freshly chopped coriander a drizzle of olive oil and some crusty bread. Moroccan bread (Khobz) is a great choice.
Can I just use Canned Beans?
You can, however I would strongly advise against it. Canned beans are already cooked, and they are usually flavourless. The reason why we use dry beans and cook them our selves is to infuse them with the rich flavours of the sauce during the cooking process.
Not to mention that your beans will release their starch into the sauce which will give you that velvety finish that Loubia is known for. You really can’t get that any other way.
Home Cook Tip
Loubia is always better the next day. I don’t know why, but it just is. You can also store your stew in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
Loubia | Moroccan White Bean Stew Recipe
Loubia is a Moroccan White bean stew that packs tons of flavor while only using a handful of ingredients. It's a delicious, spicy and citrusy soup that will make you forget that it is snowing outside.
- 300 grams dry white beans , soaked in water overnight
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 small preserved lemon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups broth
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 2 chilies
- Salt and pepper to taste
IMPORTANT: Soak kidney beans over night in a big bowl. The beans have to be a little more than completely covered with water.
Warm up olive oil on sauté mode heat in your Instant pot. Add chopped onions, minced garlic and parsley. Keep cooking until the onions are translucent (approximately 3-5 minutes). While cooking…
Cut your preserved lemon. Separate pulp from skin. Finely mince the pulp and cut the skin into strips.
Add rinsed beans, tomato paste, chilies, spices, chopped preserved lemon and pour your broth over your ingredients. Mix & cook for another 2-3 minutes to bring to a simmer. Close your Instant pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Once time has elapsed, allow for the steam to slowly release.
Serve with some crusty bread and a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander. Enjoy.
- If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can try making this recipe in a large pot. It will take much longer to cook and you’re going to have to check on it periodically and add water periodically.
- If you have a regular pressure cooker, not instant pot, you will pretty much follow the same steps. Cook your onions, garlic and parsley on medium heat. Then, once you add your beans and rest of the ingredients, bring everything to a simmer and cover. Pressure cook for 40-45 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow the steam to slowly release for 10-15 minutes.