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Best Vegetarian Stew Recipes - Vegan Vegetable Soups
Traditional stews are synonymous with beef, lamb, pork or chicken. The best vegetarian stews are not stews with the meat omitted but hearty dishes that celebrate the tastes, textures and variety of fresh vegetables all cooked to perfection so that they retain their unique individual identities.
These are not meatless Monday dishes but rich meals with their own identity and value that can be served anytime. They are all delicious reheated and can be frozen for later meals. In may ways they taste better the second time.
Unlike stews made with meat, these dishes don't have to be cooked for hours and hours to make the meat tender, over cooking is avoided.
The key is to just cook the vegetable while allowing the flavors to blend with the stock and juices from each of in the ingredients adds complexity to these dishes. Enjoy the three recipes showcased below. Remember you can always vary the ingredients depending on what is available and what you like.
Pumpkin and Pulse Stew with Fresh Herbs
Pulses are dry peas, lentils and chickpeas. Pulses are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, calcium and iron. They take time to cook and so are ideal for stews. The diced pumpkin are added about midway through the cooking time, and the fresh herbs are aded just before serving, so that they retain their texture and taste.
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh mint or basil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dried green or red lentils (washed and drained through a sieve)
4 cups peeled, diced pumpkin or squash (you can also use sweet potato)
Heat a large stockpot over moderate heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot add the carrots, garlic and onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add cinnamon, cumin and allspice and stir for about 30 seconds to release the flavors into the hot oil. Add lentils, stock and honey and bring the broth to the boil over high heat and then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes. Add the pumpkin and continue simmering until the pumpkin just starts to soften. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Then stir through the cilantro, basil, mint, or your choice of other fresh herbs and serve.
Spicy Mixed Bean Stew with Tomatoes
Dried beans are an excellent ingredient for vegetable stews because you are not rushing to cook a quick meal. Beans are very nutritious, but can take 1-2 hours to cook by simmering. You have the time when making a stew and so this sis an excellent way to enjoy them.
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red pepper, slicked very thinly
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of vegetable stock, with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce or Miso paste (optional)
plain yogurt, grated cheddar and fresh herbs such as coriander, basil. mint or parsley to serve
2-3 cups mixed beans (try to choose beans of similar size so that they take similar times to cook, al dente)
Wash and rinse the beans in fresh water and allow to soak for 8 hours or so, just covered with water. Then drain add to a pan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and simmer the beans until they have just started to soften. Check several of each type, but don't cook too much at this stage. They should be just starting to become tender. They will take up the stock and flavors of the stew to complete the cooking in the next stage.
When the beans are just about cooked, heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and cook the onions until translucent. Add add the garlic and pepper slices and cook for another minute or two. Add the spices and cook to form a thick paste. Add a little water if required. Add the mustard seeds, lemon zest, tomatoes, cooked beans, stock and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the beans are tender and a thick sauce has formed. The stew should be thick and not watery. Add chopped fresh herbs and serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and grated cheese.
Hearty Mixed Vegetable Stew, Served with Toasted Wholemeal Bread with melted Tasty Cheese
3 cloves garlic
1 eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup vegetable stock
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups diced tomatoes (or one can of tomatoes)
2 large washed potatoes, or 4 medium ones, chopped
4 thick slices of wholemeal crusty bread (to serve)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus some to drizzle
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese (to serve)
Heat a medium size heavy pot or large frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then sauté the onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped potatoes, eggplant and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly. Then add the zucchini, tomatoes and stock and cook for another 5 minutes.Turn heat off and stir in basil.
Toast slices of wholemeal bread under a broiler, or in a toaster. Rub with garlic and sprinkle cheese on top an grill under a broiler to melt and brown the cheese. Serve the toast with bowls of steaming vegetable stew.
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson