Veggie Stews | WYPR

Veggie Stews

Jan 4, 2017

Credit Rebecca Sims/flickr

In keeping with last week's show about New Year's Resolutions, I have personally resolved to eat more all-vegetable meals this coming year.  So I have surfed through the internet and found a treasure trove of recipes that would appeal to me personally.  And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School observes, winter is actually a great time to whip up some veggie stews and soups.

1. First, let's make a list of veggies that are good candidates for wintery stews and soups. The root vegetables:  potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beets, rutabagas and carrots. There are assorted squashes and eggplants. The dried beans: white beans, navy beans, garbanzos, kidney beans, lentils and split pea. The soft beans:  green beans, haricorts, and limas. Then we have the greens: kale, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard and collards. The alliums:  onions of all kinds, garlic and shallots. And finally preserved vegetables from the summer, especially tomatoes.

2.  To this broad arsenal of ingredients add various broths and stocks, a cupboard full of spices and herbs, plus add-ons like croutons, pasta, grains, cheese, nuts and of course wine. Now you just need to get creative.

3.  If you miss your meat I think garbanzo beans and lentils go a long way toward satisfying that craving.  Some would recommend tofu, but that falls outside my realm of interest.

4. Here are several recipes culled from the internet that I intend to make this winter. They are inspired by the Epicurious blog post "10 Great Veggie Stews."

Morrocan Vegetable Stew With Harissa Yogurt

Yogurt sauce ingredients:

1 cup Greek style yogurt

1 tbs EVOO

1 tbs harissa sauce (store bought)

1 tsp minced garlic

kosher salt

1.  Mix the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, season with salt, and chill.

Stew ingredients:

kosher salt

1 lb, carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 medium turnip, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 tbs butter

1/2 pound green onions, coarsely chopped

2 tbs chopped Italian parsley

2 tbs chopped fresh mint

1 tsp each paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tsp all purpose flour

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 bag baby spinach

lemon juice to taste

1.  Bring 8 cups salted water to boil.  Add carrots and turnips and cook until tender.  Remove with a slotted spoon and retain cooking liquid.

2.  In a deep cooking pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add in the onions, parsley, mint and spices and cook until the onions are tender.  Add the wine and cook until it is reduced by half.  Sift in the flour and stir into the liquid.  Add the cooked carrots and turnips and the beans and spinach plus two cups of the reserved cooking liquid.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add more cooking liquid for desired consistency.  Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

3.  Serve with a dollop of the harissa yogurt.

Italian Vegetable Stew (Ciambotta)


1/3 cup EVOO

2 medium onions, chopped

2 stalks celery,  halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/4" slices

3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4" slices

2 tbs minced garlic

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1" pieces

1/2 cup water

1 large (28 oz.) can of chopped tomatoes with juice

2 red bell peppers, de-seeded, cut into 2" pieces

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces

2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4" slices

8 small fingerling potatoes, halved or quartered according to size.

1. Sautee onions, celery, carrots and garlic in EVOO in a heavy pot over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add eggplant and water and cook, covered, until eggplant is soft.

3. Add tomatoes and juice with bell peppers.  Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

4. In a separate pot of water, cook the green beans and zucchini until fork tender.

Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  In the same water cook the potatoes

until soft. 

5. Drain, and add the potatoes, beans and zucchini to the main stew and

simmer for another 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

White Bean, Butternut Squash, Kale and Olive Stew


1/4 cup olive oil

3 large onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 3 1/4- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

3 red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups canned vegetable broth

1 1/2 large bunches kale, thick stems trimmed, leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch strips

1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage

5 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, halved

Freshly grated Romano cheese

1.  Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add squash; sauté Add bell peppers and stir to coat with onion mixture. Add broth. Cover and simmer until squash is just tender, about 10 minutes.

2.  Mix kale and sage into stew. Cover and cook until kale wilts, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add beans and olives and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.  Transfer stew to large shallow bowls. Sprinkle generously with cheese.

Vegetable Stew With Couscous


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes

1 medium onion, cut into 6 wedges

1 cup water

2/3 cup couscous

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1/2 pound mushrooms, halved

1 cup low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth

1/4 cup apple cider or juice

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 pound mustard greens or Swiss chard, stems and center ribs discarded and greens washed, spun dry, and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

1. In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook squash and onion with salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until browned lightly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low and cook mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until squash is almost tender.

2. While squash mixture is cooking, in a small saucepan bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous and let stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt to taste and keep warm, covered.

3. Add mushrooms to squash mixture and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden. In a large measuring cup stir together broth, cider or juice, and flour. Stir broth mixture and raisins into vegetable mixture and simmer over moderate heat until sauce is thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Place mustard greens or chard on top of stew and add salt to taste. Simmer stew, covered, 1 minute, or until greens are wilted.  Serve stew with couscous.