Friday, March 9, 2012

Roasted-Root Vegetable Stew

Last night I made a homemade stock, perfect for hearty soups and stews.  These are the last few weeks in which to enjoy your root vegetables of winter, until saying goodbye to them until next year.  Roasting the vegetables first brings out wonderful flavor.

  • 2 cups (1-inch thick) sliced carrot
  • 2 cups (1-inch) peeled and cubed beets
  • 1 cup (1-inch) peeled and cubed turnip
  • 3/4 cup (1-inch thick) sliced parsnip
  • 12 large peeled shallots
  • 8 large peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock*
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons Tofutti sour cream**
1. Combine the carrot, beets, turnip, parsnip, shallots, garlic, and olive oil in a roasting pan.  Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

 2. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the flour, ginger, and sage; cook for 3 minutes.

Note: This was an interesting step, in which the now-tender root veggies and flour combined to form what almost looked like a roux.

3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in the salt and black pepper.  Ladle 1 and 1/3 cups stew into each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons parsley and 1 teaspoon sour cream.

I recommend focaccia on the side to round out the meal - and soak up the last of the broth.  Make your own, or take a short cut and try the onion focaccia from Iggy's bakery; it's located in Massachusetts, but they sell it at my local New York Whole Foods, and may at a store near you.

And purely for fun, here's the aftermath of chopping the beets - the only food I know of that makes a vegan look like she has bloody hands:

*If you haven't prepared the stock recipe, substitute water.

**I recommend Tofutti's sour cream here because it's the richest and thickest vegan version on the market, and will be most like the creme fraiche that would garnish a non-vegan version of this soup. 

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 and 1/3 cups stew, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons parsley, 1 teaspoon sour cream), Calories 189

Tasting Notes:
Although it didn't occur to me during preparation, one bite and I realized this is really a beefed up (er, tofu-ed up?) version of borscht - heartier and chunkier, but very similar in taste.  The parsnip and turnip were my favorites - so tender and sweet from roasting.  The occasional pop of fresh ginger gave a bright note to an otherwise rich soup, and I would add more next time.  I also recommend cutting the shallots into smaller pieces after you roast but before you transfer to the Dutch oven; the large shallots were hard to eat off a soup spoon. A touch too much black pepper. 



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