02 March 2008

weekend recipe: chunky vegetable stew

This week's recipe comes from (I think) Vegetarian Times magazine, from where I get a lot of awesome recipes. It's pretty basic, and easily tweakable, and, of course, delicious. Like the last recipe I posted (I originally wrote "last week's recipe" before checking and realizing that it's been three weeks since I posted a recipe -- oops!), it's one you can leave simmering on the stove for as long as you need to, and it's great for cold weather. I give you:

Chunky Vegetable Stew

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thickly sliced (though I usually chop, because I don't like huge chunks in my stew)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained (I usually use a can of onion-and-garlic-flavored diced tomatoes)
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (same thing as chickpeas, and I use 1 can, drained and rinsed)
2 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
3/4 tsp crushed rosemary (I don't know if the original recipe intended for fresh or dried, but I always use dried)
1 zucchini, sliced (I'm convinced spinach would be a good substitute for the zucchini, though Greg has never let me try that variation)
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium hear. Add onion; separate slices. Cook 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add tomatoes with juice, beans, yams, and rosemary. (You will want to add more liquid, because it will look like there's barely any in there, but trust me, it's not necessary. It won't hurt, but you don't need to.) Bring to a boil (it's a bit hard to tell because of the low amount of liquid, but you'll figure it out); reduce heat to low and simmer, covered.

Here you have a couple of options. Back in our meat-eating days, we added sliced kielbasa (around 1 pound, I think) at this point, which adds a ton of flavor. Whether or not you're adding meat, you will decide at this point how thick and mushy you like your stew. We like to let this simmer for a couple of hours, turning the yams into a nice pasty base for the rest of the soup. If that doesn't sound good to you, then move along to the last bit.

Add the zucchini about 15-20 minutes before you're ready to serve the stew. Otherwise your zucchini will get mushy along with your yams, and mushy zucchini is not a good thing. Let your stew simmer until everything is as soft as you'd like it, then stir in some salt and pepper (I like a lot of salt in this, especially without meat) and sprinkle with Parmesan (fresh or not; we usually don't keep fresh around but the powdery stuff is fine) before serving.

No comments: