Friday, 24 March 2006

Stew of the Day

If, like me, you're in need of nourishment and comfort, try:

Lulu's Sunday Vegetable Stew

Go and buy:
Half a red onion, or one very small one
One tin of chopped organic tomatoes
Masses of dried herbs (two or three dessertpoons)
Olive oil
One small sweet potato
One small potato
One large carrot
One red or yellow pepper
Packet of green beans (around two handfuls)
One courgette (zucchini)

Handful of spinach, torn
Handful of chopped fresh parsley or coriander (cilantro) leaves
Tin of organic chickpeas

Now get cooking:
Chop onion into tiny pieces and gently cook in some olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or casserole pan until softened. Add the herbs and tin of tomatoes, stir and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Keep the empty tomato tin.

While the onion is cooking, peel, wash and chop all the vegetables. The sweet potato should have larger chunks than the other veg as it goes very soft. The green beans are best in thirds. Make chunks rather than slices, e.g. cut the carrots and courgette in 2cm-in thick slices and cut those in half or into quarters.

Put all the vegetables into the tomato mixture.

Fill the tomato tin to the top with cold water and add salt to it, or if preferred, a dash of soy sauce. Swoosh round and tip into the stew. Stir. Sometimes you need half a can more of water.

Put lid tightly on pan and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for one and a half hours or until the carrots and potato are soft. Taste liquid for salt after half an hour.

If there's too much liquid, take off lid and cook for another half-hour on low to reduce - but do not forget it at this point!

When cooked, turn off heat, put lid back on and leave on warm stove for as long as you like. This helps the flavours infuse. You can't really overcook this dish! It's great with rice or, as a side dish, with chicken, says Lulu.

Trust me, this is scrumptious, whichever way you eat it. Mmm...

Once I am restored I will slap someone. Very soon.


  1. Sounds delicious--I am interpreting this as a slap against chemically infused, flabby , tasteless junk food?

  2. Slap of the Day quiz would be fun. These are the facts: readers work out the slap.

    Since the only food I ever see to have in my cupboards is tin upon tin of chick peas, might be a good one to try. They're not usually organic though.

    Eat well, Bela,

  3. JvS, it's a great idea - in principle. LOL!

    The organic chickpeas are a red herring, as it were. They're in the optional list anyway. I urge you to try. It looks kind of time-consuming to make, but it really isn't. And chopping vegetables is very therapeutic. And the end result is so good.

    I can date the last time I had junk food: it was in 1995. I have IBS so my diet is incredibly restricted, but this stew is, thank goodness, something I can eat.

    Thanks, JvS. zockso

  4. Can you remember what the last junk food you had was? Was it specifically that that made you stop, or did you have some other kind of epiphany?

  5. There's nothing more physically, emotionally, and spiritually nourishing than a good soup or stew. My mother wasn't a big cook, but whenever she felt inspired (and always after holidays when there was a carcass lying around), her choice was a soup or stew starting with homemade stock.

    When I have time I'll make a big pot of soup and live off it for a few days. My spouse doesn't seem to appreciate it as much as I do, which suits me just fine: more for me.

    Thanks for the recipe; it looks delicious.

  6. Aha, good question, L! I remember a particularly revolting M&S cook-chill dish of pasta with asparagus and prawns. That's what did it!

    WW, all through my childhood I heard my mother say, "Mange ta soupe," practically every evening. No dinner was complete without a plate of steaming soup. Like most kids, I wasn't very keen at the time, but I got to love it. I hope your sweet little daughter takes after you. :-)

    5:23 AM

  7. Oh man, my kids are crazy about soup. Like, that's the perfect lunch for them, even when it's roiling hot waves of sun in the summer, they want their soup for lunch. Either with salad or a sandwich, if they don't get soup for lunch they act as if they're being punished when they DON'T get it served. Heh! I think it all depends on the kid perhaps? This one sounds right up their alley - well, any soup involving tomatoes tends to be right up their alley, really. (The usual fave is minestrone with extra beans.)

  8. thank you for this! xoxo

  9. You're lucky, K, I was such a fussy eater when I was a child! I was exposed to lots of different stuff, though. And I like everything now - except I can't eat it.

    You're welcome, M. :-)

  10. I LOVE a good bit of comfort in the tummy, and nothing beats homemade stew! (Over brown rice sounds yummy)

    I can't eat much but have learned to eat well.

    I will have my friends try this one evening - we fancy ourselves as chefs. I will then slap the pots and pans for not cleaning up after themselves.


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