Who needs beef when a stew made from fresh vegetables can be this rich and flavorful? With savory chunks of potatoes, carrots, and portobello mushrooms, this decadent comfort food promises to sustain you through the chilliest of winter nights. Red wine and blended potatoes created a creamy vehicle for transporting the savory essences of fresh rosemary and dried spices. Feed this to your skeptical carnivore and you may just create a WFPB convert!
1½ large yellow onions, large dice
3 stalks celery, large dice
1 medium bell pepper, large dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 cup red wine (I like Pinot Noir)
1/4 cup soy sauce
¼ cup tomato paste
4 medium carrots cut in half lengthwise, then sliced across into 1/4-inch slices. (Divided. Set one of the sliced carrots to the side.)
3 portobello mushrooms cut into 1/2-inch slices, then cut across into thirds
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in 1 cup water in microwave for 1 minute. Reserve water.
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (skins on), cut into ¾-inch chunks (Divided. Set one of the cut-up potatoes to the side.)
1½ cups thawed green peas
Herbs and Spices:
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary and a little chopped parsley.
In a large, hot sauce pan, add onions, bell pepper, and celery. Stirring frequently, sauté until caramelized, or a golden brown. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, to prevent scorching (about 10 minutes).
Stir in garlic and sauté for another two minutes.
Add both types mushrooms, the reserved mushroom liquid, three cut-up potatoes, and one cup water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes, then add three slice carrots. Continue to simmer for another four minutes.
In a separate smaller saucepan, boil one large cup-up potato and one of the sliced carrots in 1/2 inch water until tender. Transfer to the carafe of a high-powered blender. Add wine, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Blend until you have a creamy consistency. Stir into large saucepan with mushroom/carrot/potato mixture to thicken.
Add another cup water to the blender and pulse to release the remaining potato/carrot mixture from the blender carafe. Add this to the stew.
Stir in dried herbs and spices, and thawed peas. Simmer for three to five minutes or until peas are tender. Stir in fresh rosemary.
Garnish with fresh rosemary and loosely chopped fresh parsley. Serve hot with crusty slices of whole grain bread.
Note: When buying wine for cooking, don’t settle for something so cheap you wouldn’t dream of drinking it. It doesn’t have to be an expensive wine, but should certainly be a quality you would be willing to serve to guests.
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I finally broke down after nearly 30 years of marriage and bought a nice set of All Clad cookware. I can’t believe it took me that long to appreciate the pleasure of cooking with high quality cookware. I wish I had done it 30 years ago. Mine is Five-Ply (called D-5) and I chose to purchase only the pieces I knew I would use. My sister has the Tri-Ply and she is perfectly happy with hers, which she bought as a set. There are several pieces in her set she has never used. I probably paid more for mine as single items, but I have what I need and nothing cluttering up my cabinets. There is no reason you can’t make delicious meals with less expensive products. But once you decide to upgrade, All Clad is the way to go in my opinion. (I would never dream of putting my All Clad in a dishwasher.)
This is a good, basic set that will serve most of your needs. If you take care of it, this set will last you a lifetime and will significantly add to the pleasure of your culinary experiences.
You may find many of these spices at your local grocers. For your convenience, I have them available here. It is often better to order them in bulk to receive substantial savings, especially if you use them often.Once you’ve opened it, transfer it to a canning jar with a tight lid to preserve freshness, and store in a cool, dark place.