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Heat oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic, carrot and leek until soft but not coloured. Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, butter beans, flageolet beans, cider (if using), stock and thyme and simmer for 15-20 mins until the stew has thickened and the veg are tender.
Meanwhile, if you’re adding sausages to any portion, snip each sausage into 3-4 chunks. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and brown the chunks for 5 mins, then stir in appropriate portions of the stew and gently simmer for the remaining cooking time. Serve with the mash.