This is nothing more than a pot of vegetables cooked with herbs and white marrow beans.
And yes, that is a tomato you see. Jeepers. My tomatoes are still ripening (and I know I promised to yank the plants out on Halloween).
The inspiration for the winter stew came from Deborah Madison, only her version was for a summer stew. But I can still get potatoes and carrots this time of year, and the beans — well, I looked for fresh shelling beans, but my bean guy was taking a break from the farmers market, so I used dried (cooked, of course). Madison's summer stew calls for green beans too, but I had chard, so chard it was. (Additional ingredients: a leek, some mushrooms, a splash of beer for braising. Butter. No salt. Pepper.)
But what I really wanted to talk about is the butter.
Cranky bought a tube of imported English butter, because our English friend can't stop raving about it. Always open to new flavors, we gave it a try.
Cranky said he wanted to scratch his own eyes out. It tasted like licking the inside of the popcorn bag. (I can say these evil things because our friend is on some tropical island right now, with no Internet access.)
However. Wouldn't cooking with the butter be just fine?
Yes, it would. We sauteed miniature potato halves in gobs of the butter until they turned brown and, well, salty-buttery. Then dumped the potatoes and all that salty butter into the pot with the beans and vegetables. Cooked 'em into submission.
And didn't have to add a single sprinkling of "real" salt to the pot.